Despite challenges such as longer life cycles, pricing, saturation and high levels of competition, the European contrast autoinjectors markets continue to expand. However, product innovation, including the development of multi-use, application-specific contrast injectors in a single system and the introduction of new products with software compatibilities will be critical for sustained market growth.
Frost & Sullivan (medicalimaging.frost.com) finds that the European Autoinjectors Markets earned revenues of $31.6 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $60.1 million in 2013.
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"The development of innovative contrast delivery methods for specific applications are yielding improved results and are supporting steady growth in the European autoinjectors markets," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ranjit Ravindranathan. "The consistent expansion in the number of modality installations is directly helping market growth due to the increasing number of procedures which require contrast media."
The markets have considerable potential for growth, with all segments displaying variations in their growth curve. This is due to the saturation of segments such as angiography, whereas the CT and MRI segments have been exhibiting promising growth due to enhanced applications of autoinjectors in cardiology departments.
A key market issue is the long life of autoinjectors, which is reducing the volume of unit sales. However, expanding equipment installations and the increasing number of procedures will have a direct and positive impact on the usage levels of contrast injectors.
The major hindrances in these markets include issues related to multiuse injectors, high entry barriers and concerns related to ensuring interoperability of systems with OEMs of all types. The other challenge is the need to design innovative products, specifically offerings that are compatible with applications required by customers.
"As the contrast autoinjector market in Europe is reaching saturation, the unwillingness to replace old systems and low reimbursement rates have depressed market expansion," adds Ravindranathan. "Increased procedural costs, including the purchase of new technology with specific features and contrasts, might prove to be a constraint initially but, in the long-term, transition and adoption will be inevitable."
Industry participants should acquire or establish strategic alliances with smaller firms to support their entry into local markets. The introduction of innovative products with an emphasis on regular value additions will encourage end-user uptake. Efforts to train and educate radiologists in new technologies that use automated injectors will also be crucial to sustain market expansion.
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