Medical imaging year in review - Purchasing Insights

December 07, 2022
From the November 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Tom Watson

The information and metrics in this summary represent dynamic proprietary data collected from and analyzed for symplr Spend Capital Market Intelligence customers. The depth and breadth of this customer base gives our advisors — industry leaders who provide unbiased, fact-driven data for market trends, vendor solutions, pricing, and support — access to an unparalleled database. These dedicated clinical spend advisors have experience in many areas of diagnostic and therapeutic medical capital technology and markets. They empower customers to make better-informed business, financial, and clinical decisions about capital equipment purchases.

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The overall capital purchasing patterns have changed significantly over the past five years. The data collected and formally analyzed historically has been an excellent representation of the overall, primary healthcare provider mindset regarding medical technology purchase considerations. Using 2018 as the last clear baseline since the COVID-19 pandemic, today we see that the imaging market overall reflects a level of purchasing consideration that is approximately 85% of pre-pandemic capital buying patterns. Based on customer request activity, analyses reflect ranges of pre-pandemic to current capital activity ranging from 60% to 100%. Areas of purchasing/purchase consideration that have recovered to nearly 100% are basic imaging solutions for everyday imaging in general radiology. High-cost advanced imaging recovery is lower, in the 60% to 70% range. By pure volume, ultrasound remains far and away the most active technology area, but even ultrasound has recovered to only about 84% of pre-pandemic levels.

Additional factors have impacted the recovery, including:
• Global and domestic supply chain challenges
• Evolving variants of COVID-19 that continue to command extraordinary, increased operational and staffing resources
• Vendors’ strategies to recover losses by increasing prices and making negotiations more challenging
• Increased pressure due to rising workforce costs post-pandemic

Many healthcare organizations have confirmed that their capital budgets are lower today than pre-pandemic. As a result, replacement of aging technology is a major focus. New technology that is a preference rather than a necessity receives increased scrutiny. The key metrics being used for capital decisions include clinical efficacy and proven improved patient outcomes, reduced hospital days, and rapid revenue generation.

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