Although prices of small, portable ultrasound units have remained fairly static, larger units have experienced more dramatic price declines of up to 25% in Europe since the mid-1990s, according to an analysis from Frost & Sullivan of San Jose, CA.
However, sales of advanced 3D and 4D imaging units have been lagging largely due to pricing and cost issues, Frost said. An additional factor to slow adoption of 3D and 4D imaging has been nonuniform guidelines for the safe use of ultrasound systems and varied training requirements across Europe.
Frost & Sullivan noted that the lack of a uniform, pan-European, standardized structure for ultrasound training has been compounded by inconsistent regulatory norms across countries. The firm said that this has negatively impacted the quality of technical training and the level of professional competency.
The report, Advances in Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging in Europe, observed that with divergent, country-specific reimbursement schemes prevailing across Europe, competitive pricing is likely to be a prerequisite to encouraging adoption of high-end systems. Frost said that even as competition intensifies, it believes the overall European ultrasound market is projected to grow annually by nearly 1.8% to 2%.
By AuntMinnie.com staff writers
April 12, 2005
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