Long-Term Demand Realistic for Retrofit X-ray Systems as Providers Make Switch to DR

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Helen Titus

Helen Titus, Marketing Director, X-ray Solutions, Carestream

I have to take exception to a key statement in “The World Market for General Radiography and Fluoroscopy X-ray Equipment – 2013” report issued by IMS Research, a subsidiary of market research firm IHS. According to this report, growth in the market for retrofit X-ray kits that convert film or CR-based X-ray systems to digital radiography will peak in 2014. After that, the report states that economic stability will allow more facilities, especially in Europe, to start purchasing new equipment and retrofit sales will slow.

Retrofit systems allow healthcare facilities to upgrade existing analog X-ray rooms or mobile X-ray systems with DR detectors. This report suggests the adoption rate for retrofit kits is being driven primarily by a slow economy (and limited budgets) and will fall off when the economy recovers and healthcare facilities opt to purchase new imaging systems instead.

We see retrofits and new DR systems as part of a circle of equipment life. Hospitals and health systems often choose to retrofit newer analog rooms and mobile systems and purchase new DR systems as their systems age. We also must consider other imaging services providers—imaging centers, physicians’ offices, orthopedic clinics, smaller hospitals and others—that will implement retrofit kits for their convenience and cost advantages.

Carestream has an added advantage since we further extend the life of our detectors by allowing them to be used in any DRX room or DRX mobile imaging system. As the retrofitted X-ray system needs to be replaced, the DRX detector can be redeployed in a new room or new mobile imaging system, increasing the return on the original investment. If a new mobile X-ray imaging system is purchased, the retrofit DRX detector can then be moved to convert a CR-based portable or room.

Looking forward, we anticipate a synergistic blend of retrofit and new DR systems transforming the huge worldwide base of CR and film-based systems. This transition can lead to faster, more convenient image access and can help physicians enhance patient care.

Is your healthcare facility using retrofit systems? And do you plan to continue to use retrofits as part of your overall transition to DR systems?


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