European Union (EU) Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) Device Market Overview
The European Union (EU) point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) device market is expected to reach $230.9 million by 2024, registering a CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period. This growth can be ascribed to the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, surging geriatric population, growing awareness about the benefits of portable ultrasound devices, technological advancements in PoCUS devices, and rising healthcare expenditure in the EU.
Based on type, the EU point-of-care ultrasound device market is classified into diagnostic and therapeutic devices. Of the two, diagnostic PoCUS devices held the larger market share during the historical period, with 80.7% revenue contribution in 2018. This can be attributed to the increased use of these devices in point-of-care applications for the diagnosis of left ventricular systolic function, pericardial effusion, severe mitral regurgitation, pleural effusion, pneumothorax, and pulmonary edema.
Geographically, Germany held the largest share in the European Union point-of-care ultrasound device market during the historical period, with 19.1% contribution in 2018. Increasing healthcare expenditure, rising prevalence of chronic diseases, and growing number of hospitals and diagnostic centers are some of the key factors driving the demand for PoCUS devices in the country.
European Union Point-of-Care Ultrasound Device Market Dynamics
Some of the key factors driving the EU point-of-care ultrasound device market are surge in geriatric population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, technological advancements in PoCUS devices, growing awareness about the benefits of portable ultrasound devices, and rising healthcare expenditure in the region.
As compared to younger people, the elderly are more susceptible to chronic diseases, due to which their demand for medical devices, which aid in the diagnosis and management of diseases, is high. Thus, with the surge in geriatric population, there has been an increase in demand for PoCUS devices in the EU, to facilitate proper point-of-care diagnosis and treatment. For example, using PoCUS devices, primary care physicians can non-invasively evaluate urinary incontinence in the elderly, screen them for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and prostatic enlargement, and evaluate their cardiac function in outpatient settings. Since primary care physicians frequently encounter these diagnostic needs in geriatric population, there has been increased demand for PoCUS devices to aid disease management in the elderly.
The demand for PoCUS devices in the EU is also increasing on account of the rising prevalence of chronic and lifestyle-related diseases among the people in the region. Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and cancer are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Europe. According to the European Society of Cardiology, CVDs accounted for 37% of the total deaths in the EU in 2017. Moreover, approximately 11 million new cases of CVDs are recorded every year in Europe.
Furthermore, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second-most prevalent cause of death and morbidity in the EU. In 2015, 1.3 million people died from cancer in the EU, accounting for 25.4% of the total deaths. According to WHO estimates, the number of deaths due to cancer is expected to reach 1.4 million by the end of 2019 in the region. Since PoCUS devices are an efficient and effective method of critical CVD and cancer diagnosis, the rising prevalence of chronic diseases in the EU is expected to continue boosting the demand for these devices in the region.
Technological advancements in computing applications, electronics, and transducers have revolutionized ultrasound devices in recent years, leading to their increased adoption. These advancements have also led to the miniaturization of ultrasound devices. Manufacturers in the EU point-of-care ultrasound device market are increasingly incorporating wireless technologies, such as near-field communication and Bluetooth, to improve the performance of their devices in critical and emergency care applications.
Furthermore, healthcare providers and patients are becoming more aware about the benefits of portable ultrasound devices in point-of-care settings. Handheld point-of-care devices are smaller than conventional cart-based devices and can also be easily charged. Thus, the growing awareness on the benefits of these devices is resulting in their increased adoption in the EU, further boosting the growth of the point-of-care ultrasound device market in the region.
Moreover, with the growing prevalence of diseases and increasing government and non-government initiatives to facilitate better treatment, healthcare expenditure across the globe, including EU countries, is increasing. Governments of several EU countries are investing a significant portion of their gross domestic product (GDP) in healthcare.
Although there is variation in the healthcare spending of different countries, healthcare is one of the primary focus areas for all countries in the EU region. In this regard, the German government is taking several steps to make healthcare accessible for all its people, irrespective of their income level. Thus, the aforementioned factors are expected to continue driving the growth of the EU point-of-care ultrasound device market in the near future.
Lack of skilled sonographers can be viewed as a major restraint for the European Union point-of-care ultrasound device industry. Although the medical device industry in the EU region is witnessing heavy investments, the growth of the PoCUS device market is being hampered because of the lack of skilled professionals in the regional healthcare industry. Sonographers are highly skilled healthcare professionals who use ultrasonic devices to produce, scan, and interpret clinical data (available in the form of images and videos) to diagnose medical conditions and set the course for treatment. Sonographers are required to have specialized skills and education to operate these devices and analyze the required information. However, owing to lack of education and training programs, there is a paucity of skilled sonographers in the EU, which is impeding the growth of the market.
European Union Point-of-Care Ultrasound Device Market Competitive Landscape
New product launches by major players is expected to increase the availability of technologically advanced products in the European Union point-of-care ultrasound device industry.
For instance, in February 2019, Koninklijke Philips N.V. expanded its product portfolio with the launch of EPIQ Elite ultrasound system for general imaging and OB/GYN applications, to improve clinical confidence and patient experience. The device provides enhanced image quality and lifelike 3D scans for advanced fetal assessment during all stages of pregnancy.
Besides, in March 2018, Siemens Healthineers, a Siemens AG company, launched ACUSON Juniper, a PoCUS system with advanced application and imaging capabilities. The device features a lightweight, ergonomic design and can be used across a wide range of clinical applications.
General Electric Company, Esaote S.p.A., FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Canon Medical Systems Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Hologic Inc., Hitachi Ltd., BK Medical Holding Company Inc., Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co. Ltd., and Alpinion Medical Systems Co. Ltd. are some other key players operating in the European Union point-of-care ultrasound device market.