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Los paneles y tridimensionales planos continúan incursiones de fabricación en el mercado móvil del C-brazo

por Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | March 03, 2015
Medical Devices
From the March 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Despite the release of flat panel detectors for mobile C-arms over the last decade, the operating room staff at the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network in Arizona are perfectly happy with their GE OEC 9900s.
“All the surgeons are really used to the conventional fluoroscopes,” says Gary Jasmer, OR coordinator for general radiology with the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network. The OECs, manufactured by GE Healthcare, provide good image quality, and physicians work collaboratively with the radiologic technologists to optimize images taken during OR procedures, Jasmer says.

Rohit Inamdar, a senior medical physicist in the Applied Solutions Group at ECRI Institute, who provides strategic planning for medical imaging and radiation oncology services, says many facilities he visits are using 25-year-old C-arms. “Some of the bells and whistles — they are nice to have, but they are not really necessary,” Inamdar says.

That’s even somewhat true with staff exposure to radiation dose. “How close you’re standing to the C-arm and how long the procedure is will decrease or dramatically increase your exposure,” Inamdar says. “A 10 percent reduction (from the equipment) doesn’t necessary mean less occupational exposure.”

Jamie Dildy, a clinical analyst with MDBuyline, says facilities are still purchasing image intensifiers. “The market for image intensifiers is not going away,” Dildy says. It seems that for many health care providers and institutions old is still fine, but new C-arms can offer those who have the patient load, specialized requirements, and money, some things that are even better for institution and patient alike. If a facility wants to invest in a mobile C-arm with a flat panel detector, to take advantage of better images and lower dose, for example, the number of procedures done has a big impact on whether the new technology is a good investment. But there are other, newer factors to consider as well, including payments that are increasingly linked to outcomes and the higher cost of service contracts.

The market for C-arms, considered workhorses in the OR, has remained steady over the years, and is expected to grow rapidly, but not necessarily because of the adoption of new technologies. The global market for fluoroscopy and mobile C-arms is expected to grow to more than $2 billion by 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.2 percent from 2013 to 2019, according to a report last July by Transparency Market Research. The growth will come from the increasing demand for interventional radiology procedures and the increase of orthopedic surgeries due to the aging population and sport injuries, along with technological advancements and increase in the number of hospitals, according to the report.

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