What economic impact is COVID-19 having on imaging?

2019 10 17 20 53 0512 Holloway Stephen 400

The global COVID-19 crisis is leading to murmurings of budget cuts, or at least more stringent cost control measures by the medical imaging industry, but there is nothing very obvious yet, according to market expert Steve Holloway of Signify Research.

"We think we'll likely see the biggest near-term impact in late Q2, once it really hits the U.S., but it's almost too early to tell," he told AuntMinnieEurope.com. "Everybody's hoping that the market isn't too soft. Generally healthcare is pretty robust to swings in the market, so I think it will be more of a delay in terms of spend rather than spend cuts."

He said that most of the large CT and MRI vendors have order books filled up to 24 months ahead of delivery, so some of the effects might not have an impact until much later -- e.g., orders that companies would be taking now may get pushed back. This could especially be the case for large regional tenders or big imaging informatics deals.

"Many of our healthcare technology clients are in planning mode, trying to understanding the impact on their business and how to ride out the crisis. Lots are also front-line of support for health provider needs; for instance, a number of firms have been supporting customers with immediate additional needs for mobile X-ray scanners (for imaging in the intensive care unit) and remote workstations for radiologists to read from home." added Holloway, who is principal analyst and company director at the health tech, market intelligence firm based in Cranfield, U.K.

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