New online survey says buyers are targeting ultrasound in 2000

By Erik L. Ridley, staff writer

June 1, 2000 --

Buying an ultrasound scanner is high on the list of many prospective equipment purchasers, according to a new online survey conducted by

The survey is the first in a series of regular online surveys by tracking equipment purchasing trends. The poll queried hundreds of site visitors between May 4 and May 17 about their plans to buy new imaging equipment during the remainder of 2000.

Ultrasound topped the list for those planning to buy equipment in 2000, with 42% seeking to buy a new scanner this year, and 4% who are in the market for a used system. Forty-four percent of survey respondents indicated they had no plans to buy an ultrasound scanner this year (response percentages do not always add up to 100% as some respondents did not complete every question).

Continued development of powerful multislice CT scanners might be prompting many survey respondents to turn to this technology, rather than to its more glamorous sibling, MRI. CT edged out MRI in future purchase plans, with 33% of respondents planning to buy a new CT unit this year, and 5% intending on acquiring a used scanner. Fifty-three percent of respondents have no plans to buy a CT scanner in 2000.

However, there is still plenty of steam left in the MRI market. Thirty-two percent said they have plans to buy a new MRI scanner, while 4% are looking to buy a used system. Fifty-four percent of respondents have no plans to acquire an MRI unit.

Interest in PACS appears to be sparking genuine purchasing activity, always a question mark in this often over-hyped sector. Thirty-two percent of respondents plan on implementing a digital image management network this year, while 52% had no such plans.

Laser cameras also appear to be on the shopping list for many prospective purchasers who filled out the survey. Twenty-six percent of respondents are planning on installing a new system, with 3% looking at used models.

New mammography systems are in the works for 23% of respondents, while 3% are evaluating used units. Fifty-seven percent did not express interest in buying a system this year.

New and used fluoroscopy systems are in the plans for 22% and 3% of survey respondents, respectively. Twenty percent of respondents are in the market for a new radiography/tomography room, with 4% planning to install a used system.

New film processors will spark purchases among 21%, the survey said, with 3% planning to buy a used model.

Interest in the two digital x-ray approaches was nearly identical. The number of survey respondents who plan to buy either a computed radiography system or digital radiography room was nearly identical, with both categories turning in 21% for new systems and 1% for used devices. Still, the majority of respondents will stay away from digital x-ray technology this year, with 59% and 60% holding off on purchases of CR and DR systems, respectively.

Traditional gamma cameras held off potential PET camera sales in the survey, with purchases of new gamma cameras being planned in 17% of cases, and used systems in 3%. Sixty-four percent will abstain from purchasing a gamma camera in 2000.

Interest in buying new PET cameras was reported in 14% of responses, with only 1% signaling intent to buy a used device. Sixty-six percent expressed no interest in a PET system this year.

In other categories, angio/interventional suites will be purchased by 14%, while an additional 2% plan to install used editions. Fifteen percent of respondents will invest in a new C-arm unit, while 2% will buy them used. A new stereotactic breast biopsy unit will be acquired by 11%, with 2% eyeing a used model.

By Erik L. Ridley staff writer
June 1, 2000

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