An innovative high end portable x-ray imaging device is not only revolutionising patient treatment but also giving Europe the opportunity to compete on the world stage in a growing global market for medical technology.
With the support of the Eurostars programme, a new hybrid X-ray imaging machine called the Adora has been developed. It combines both radiotherapy and fluoroscopy technology and has been created by a consortium led by Nordisk Roentegn Teknik (NRT), a Danish R&D SME. It could cut costs, improve ease of use for practitioners and deliver much improved outcomes for patients.
The Adora ‘Modality merging radiographic – fluoroscopy system’ combines cutting edge technologies, including the world’s first flat panel detector – a technology brought to the project by Canon Europa’s Medical Systems Division – in a single handheld system. This flexibility means it can be used in the largest city hospital or smallest rural clinic.
“If it comes down to specs now, we have something that they cannot compete with, so if price is not always the major factor than we can still stand a chance and compete against them.”
Mediel, a Swedish SME specialised in imaging provided the data necessary for the development of the new technology. Mediel was chosen to be part of the project’s international consortium because of the company’s outstanding approach to extraction of important clinical findings via extensive quantitative research. The three manufacturers hope the technology will help net 25% of the global market for radiography devices.
Innovating to compete
Poul Winther, manager of the Eurostars project for at Nordisk Roentgen led the team working on the research endeavour code-named ‘GAZELLE’. He says the high-end innovative nature of the device would allow his firm to compete against major overseas players, especially those from Asia. Although large firms can use their economies of scale to offer ‘package’ deals across a range of technologies and devices that are often attractive to larger clients, according to Winther, no other system can compete on purely technical terms:
“It has certainly increased our sales in the Nordic countries, particularly in Sweden. You have some firms, which dump goods on the market at very low, almost ridiculous prices. If it comes down to specs now, we have something that they cannot compete with, so if price is not always the major factor than we can still stand a chance and compete against them. This is a very, very flexible x-ray system that can perform a huge variety of studies.”
Medical technology and devices are one of the fastest growing markets in the world. A study by GlobalData forecasts that the global x-ray systems market will reach a value of €3.7 billion in 2015. Another report from EvaluatePharma estimates the global medical device market is growing at an average of 4.4% per year and will be worth $440 billion by 2018. Thanks to Eurostars, NRT and Mediel aim to gain a considerable share of a market where quality is often valued more than price.