s07a.jpg (8041 bytes)Mammography: Digital Mammography Gaining Ground
The digital age finally may dawn on all of mammography in 2002.

With GE Medical Systems (GEMS of Waukesha, Wis.) having a two-year jump on the prospective competition with its Senographe 2000D, other vendors – namely Fischer Imaging Corp. (Denver) and Hologic Inc. (Bedford, Mass.) – are poised ready to enter the fray wholeheartedly this year.

Fischer Imaging received FDA clearance in September 2001 for its SenoScan full-field digital mammography system. In late October, the FDA sent Hologic an approvable letter regarding the company’s pre-market approval (PMA) application for its Lorad full-field digital mammography system.

With the addition of more digital mammography units this year and in the near future, market analyst Frost and Sullivan (San Jose, Calif.) sees the total x-ray mammography market reaching $567 million by 2007, compared with $282.5 million in 2000.

Fierce vendor competition is keeping technology current and costs down. Because smaller companies feel pressured to innovate to stay in the game, the newest crop of digital x-ray mammography devices provides increased contrast resolution, wider dynamic range, higher signal-to-noise ratio and real-time imaging.

The dark cloud is reimbursement, which many mammography providers find inadequate. The report asserts that poor reimbursement rates alone could delay or cancel equipment orders. However, providers’ needs for greater speed and procedure volume, coupled with the convenience of digital storage, will offset reimbursement shortages and eventually drive small-field digital to dominate diagnostic and interventional mammography in the United States.

Please refer to the January 2002 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis