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Bone densitometers are the diagnostic systems with an enhanced X-ray technology known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or DXA/DEXA technology that is capable of measuring the bone mineral density level.
Bone mineral density (BMD) is an assessment of inorganic mineral content present in bone and is one of the most informative analyses of bone quality during clinical studies. Various factors such as age, sex, lifestyle, among others affect the measurement of BMD. Osteoporosis is the most common disorder associated with low BMD.
Bone densitometers systems use small doses of ionizing radiation for measuring bone density. The bone DXA systems create a dual-energy spectrum from an x-ray source by using two different methods, one method applies a constant potential to the x-ray source and the other method measures the attenuated values of the low-and high energy x-rays separately, produced when the alternating pulses of low-and high-voltage power are applied to the x-ray tube.
However, the advanced bone densitometers are based on ultrasound which measures the broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA) and the speed of the sound to offer a quantitative ultrasound index of the appendicular skeleton. Sometimes, a CT scan integrated with specialized software (QCT) can also be used to detect and monitor low bone mass. This technology is accurate but is less commonly used than DXA scanning.
Types of Bone Densitometer
There are mainly two types of bone densitometer equipment available in the market, a central device and a peripheral device.
Central Bone Densitometers: Most of the central bone densitometers are based on DXA technology. The DXA central bone densitometer devices are used to measure bone density in the spine and hip. In addition, QCT is also a type of central bone densitometer usually applied to measure the trabecular bone in the vertebral bodies. QCT has the advantage of determining the true 3-dimensional bone density compared with the 2-dimensional areal density measured by DXA. Central densitometers have a large, flat table and an “arm” suspended overhead.
Peripheral Bone Densitometer: Portability and low cost of the peripheral bone densitometer makes these devices an alternative to central or axial bone densitometer. Peripheral bone densitometers include pDXA, pQCT, and quantitative ultrasound densitometer (QUS). These devices measure bone density in the wrist, heel, or finger.
Factors Bolstering the Bone Densitometer Market
The rise in prevalence of bone-associated disorders mainly, osteoporosis and osteopenia across the globe are likely to augment the global bone densitometer market in the upcoming years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) assessment criteria, osteoporosis is generally defined as a BMD that lies below the 2.5 standard deviations or more for a young healthy woman. For instance, as per the International Osteoporosis Foundation, a non-governmental organization situated in Switzerland, annually more than 8.9 million fractures are caused due to osteoporosis across the globe.
Furthermore, various risk factors such as the growing burden of an aging population, increasing population of post-menopausal women, worldwide, rising adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, low calcium intake, vitamin D deficiency, excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, and increasing endocrine disorders (such as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or hyperparathyroidism) that leads to the development of osteoporosis and increases the chances of fragile fractures among the population across the globe is likely to increase the bone densitometers market. For instance, as per the World Population Ageing 2020 highlights published by the United Nations in the year 2020, about 727 million people aged 65 years and above across the globe which is projected to increase over 1.5 billion by the year 2050. Thus, the rising old age population could potentially increase the likelihood of osteoporosis among them thereby raising the demand for bone densitometry.
In addition, osteoporosis is more prevalent among postmenopausal women. This is because the low level of estrogen hormone that occurs at the time of menopause results in significant bone loss. Various researches have demonstrated that there is up to a 10% loss in bone mass in the first five years of women after attaining the menopause phase.
Furthermore, in countries, especially with a large targeted patient population, point of care (POC) bone densitometers are capturing significance. The improved turnaround time, cost-effectiveness, among others are the factors increasing their usage as well as demand. Also, continuous efforts by the bone densitometers manufacturers to launch technologically advanced bone densitometers would contribute to the global bone densitometer market growth.
Key Five Players in the Bone Densitometer Market
As per Delveinsight’s report titled “Bone Densitometer- Market Outlook and Forecast”, the global key players in the market are as follows:
GE Healthcare – Illinois, United States
GE Healthcare, a subsidiary of General Electric Company is one of the largest providers of bone mineral density (BMD) technology. The company offers DXA and ultrasonometers for a comprehensive clinical and research application. For more than 44 years, the company has been a leader of QUS and DXA technology in the field of bone and metabolic health through its innovative product design, workflow efficiency, and third-generation DXA and detector technology. The advanced features such as narrow fan-beam scan, low scattered radiation, smartscan, multi-view image reconstruction (MVIR), automatic scan mode detection, photon-counting detector, among others make the company’s DXA technology unique from other players’ products in the bone densitometers market.
Lunar iDXA, Prodigy, Aria, and Achilles™* EXP II are the key bone densitometers in the company’s product portfolio. Lunar iDXA, Prodigy, and Aria are based on DXA technology whereas Achilles™* EXP II is based on the Quantitative Ultrasound (QUS) technology.
Hologic, Inc. – Massachusetts, United States
Hologic Inc. is a leading medical technology company predominantly focused on women’s health. The company develops, manufactures, and supplies medical imaging systems, surgical, and diagnostic products for women health’s and well-being. The company introduced the first bone densitometer with its proprietary DXA technology (Quantitative Digital radiography) in the year 1987. Under the Skeletal Health product segment, the company has Horizon DXA which is a dual-energy X-ray system for the evaluation of bone density and other body composition assessments.
Swissray – Taipei, Taiwan
Swissray is recognized as the industry pioneer in developing digital radiography solutions. Since the year 2013, the company has established its presence in the global bone densitometer market with the acquisition of “NORLAND”. The company offers a wide range of DXA systems that provide an efficient workflow and accurate data by utilizing automated technology such as automatic ROI, dynamic filtration, noise-free x-ray, among others. Elite, XR-800, and XR-600 are the key bone densitometer products. Elite bone densitometer is one of the most versatile products for measuring bone mineral density available in the market. This is because the densitometer has a large active window scan of 54″x90″ (137cm x 228cm) and can fit the heaviest patient population. Model XR-800 and XR-600 provide advanced technology for in vivo bone assessment of BMD. The models are integrated with an advanced dynamic filtration technology a pair of advanced detectors to independently record high and low energy. The scanners independent of the body size and operator-based analysis are capable of delivering swift, precise, and accurate studies.
DMS Imaging – Gallargues-le-Montueux, France
DMS Imaging is a French-based medical device company with a complete range of product solutions in bone densitometry, radiology, posturology, and stereo-radiography. The company has a network of over 120 distributors in over 140 countries worldwide. The company has two key products in the field of bone densitometry Stratos and Stratos DR. Stratos is based on DXA reference technology. The digital fast beam of the system provides superb image resolution and quick execution. The system is also available in a compact version. Stratos DR has a 256-pixel detector and a 2-D fan beam that provides high image resolution for an optimal diagnosis. The system is designed to achieve a record time of the 30s per site.
Osteometer Meditech Inc. (OSI Systems, Inc.) – California, United States
Osteometer MediTech, Inc., a subsidiary of OSI Systems, Inc. is focused on developing, manufacturing, and marketing diagnostic tools with special emphasis on diagnostic procedures of bone metabolic diseases. For 20 years, the company’s main product is DTX-200 DexaCare®.
The DTX200 DexaCare® assesses forearm bone density with optimal accuracy and precision. One of the unique features of the DTX200 DexaCare® is the automatic recognition of the 8 mm distance between the ulna and the radius. This ensures that the same area is evaluated every time. Excellent in vivo precision (>99%) and in vivo accuracy (>99%) make the DTX200 DexaCare® ideal for bone density assessment and monitoring. Owing to an integrated dynamic approach, the DTX-200 DexaCare® enables the facility to provide the patient with an instant diagnosis.
Recent Developments in the Bone Densitometer Market
- On July 23, 2021, DMS Imaging announced the extension of its white-label manufacturing contract for the FUJIFILM Healthcare Group. After a first distribution agreement signed in 2017 for its range of bone densitometry for Europe, extended to the ASEAN and MEA zone.
- On June 16, 2021, Echolight signed a commercial agreement with an important local partner in Chandigarh, in the north of India for the distribution of the entire range of products throughout the Indian Territory.
- On May 30, 2019, Hologic, Inc. announced its partnership with DEXA+ to distribute the DXA system for body composition measurement. The Partnership allowed Hologic to expand its expertise in body composition assessment and the reach of its market-leading DXA system.
Owing to the presence of global and regional players in many countries worldwide, the market for bone densitometers is highly competitive. The key bone densitometers manufacturers offer a wide range of bone densitometer products based on different technologies. Key players employed various strategic business activities such as partnerships, product launches, mergers, and acquisitions to hold their market position. Also, various factors such as product price, measurement speed, product accuracy and precision, product reliability, among others are the factors on which the competitive strength of the key market players are dependent.
As per DelveInsight’s assumption, the global bone densitometer market is expected to rise at a moderate growth rate during the forecasted period owing to an increase in target population as well as raising awareness among the patient population and improving patient access for bone densitometry, among others. For instance, in 2021, Echolight Medical, Italy-based manufacturer of the radiation-free EchoS portable bone densitometer, joined the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s (NOF) Corporate Advisory Roundtable based in Switzerland to increase focus on bone health and patient access to osteoporosis information and medical care. Additionally, in India, Tata Main Hospital inaugurated Bone Densitometry (DXA) Machine to improve patient access for the diagnosis of osteoporosis in the year 2017.
Furthermore, an increase in sales volume of the product is expected to augment the bone densitometers market growth. For instance, as per Hologics, Inc.’s 2021 annual report, the skeletal health product revenue of the company increased by 22.7% in the year 2021 as compared to the year 2020 due to an increase in sales volume of both Insight FDmini C-arm and Horizon DXA systems.
Moreover, an increase in the adoption of technologically advanced bone densitometers which are radiation-free and are compact would potentially raise the demand for the systems thereby propelling its global market.In addition, budding stage companies investing in the development of advanced bone densitometers such as StemLab, Inc., ARTANN Laboratories, Inc., among others will also surge the market. For instance, ARTANN Laboratories, Inc., an innovative technology company, has developed Bone UltraSonic Scanner™ (BUSS), a novel diagnostic tool for screening and monitoring osteoporosis. The device was tested in preliminary clinical studies that have demonstrated superior diagnostic capabilities in the assessment of bone health when compared to conventional bone ultrasonometers. Currently, the company is looking for qualified clinical and business partners to complete clinical validation of the device and to bring the technology to the market. Also, OsteoSys Corp. (founded in 2000), a South Korea based company is giving great competition to bone densitometer market leaders such as GE Healthcare, and Hologic Inc. and aims to become the world’s leading player in the bone densitometry market with its portfolio of high-tech bone mineral density scan machines. Thus providing product variability in the market which ultimately would lead to the bone densitometers market growth.