European breast imaging market slated for growth

The growth in the number of women being screened in national population-based breast cancer screening programs in many European countries will fuel the need for breast imaging systems over the next decade, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan projects that the European market for breast imaging systems will climb from $988.3 million U.S. (749 million euros) in revenues in 2013 to nearly $1.4 billion (1 billion euros) in 2020. The firm includes mammography, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, molecular breast imaging, and breast computer-aided detection (CAD) software in its analysis.

Frost & Sullivan noted that while mammography has been considered the gold standard of breast screening, technologies such as breast ultrasound, breast MRI, and molecular breast imaging are also gaining traction.

Sporadic reimbursement trends across countries may lead to equally sporadic uptake of advanced breast imaging modalities such as 3D tomosynthesis, automated breast ultrasound, and molecular breast imaging, Frost & Sullivan said. While mammography and the less expensive ultrasound procedures are reimbursed sufficiently, that's not always the case for costly procedures such as MRI and molecular breast imaging, according to the firm.

As a result, many European breast imaging facilities are employing multimodality screening, which is in turn expected to drive the utilization of supplementary modalities such as breast ultrasound, Frost & Sullivan said.

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