Global diagnostic display shipments are on the rise

Global shipments of diagnostic displays are forecast to grow at a 5 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), between 2014 and 2018. According to the latest DisplaySearch Specialty Displays Report, larger high-resolution wide-aspect-ratio displays are starting to become more popular, but 21.3-inch displays had a 67 percent share of unit shipments and a 65 percent share of revenues in the first half of 2014.

“The majority of future shipment growth will take place in emerging regions, not in developed regions, where much of the growth has previously occurred,” said Todd Fender, senior analyst professional and commercial displays for DisplaySearch, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS). “At the county level, brands are looking to China, as the largest opportunity of growth, followed closely by Latin America.“

Fig. 1

Veteran radiologists who were trained on, and had previously read, images on traditional x-ray film using light boxes have been the driving force behind the continued strength of 21.3-inch displays with a 4:3 aspect ratio; however, as younger doctors enter the workforce, the legacy of film and grayscale-only images will slowly fade away. For example, in the first half of 2014, 43 percent of diagnostic displays were grayscale, but by 2018 these displays will represent just 34 percent of the market.

In today’s traditional picture archiving and communication (PACS) display ecosystem, multiple displays are used to review and read images; however, this configuration may lead to lower productivity and faster eye fatigue. Larger and higher resolution single screens have entered the market over the last few years, in an attempt to reduce or eliminate these issues. Displays with 6 megapixels (MP) to 10 (and higher) MPs are forecast to increase over the next several years, as users migrate from multiple screens to single-screen viewing.

Table 1

Clinical Review Displays and Surgical Displays

Similar to diagnostic shipments, clinical-review-display shipments are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4 percent, between 2014 and 2018.  More than eight in 10 (83 percent) of clinical review display sizes fall between 19 inches and 22 inches, and 98 percent have a resolution of 2 MP or lower. “There will be a gradual shift to 4 MP and 8 MP wide aspect ratio displays as availability increases and as prices fall,” Fender said.

Surgical display shipments are forecast to grow more than any other medical-imaging category, reaching 7 percent CAGR between 2014 and 2018. Although almost half of surgical displays fall between 15 inches and 20 inches, the fastest area of growth is forecast to be in displays that 55 inches and larger, which are expected to grow at a 23 percent CAGR between 2014 and 2018. Additionally, 8 megapixel and 9 megapixel displays will grow significantly between 2014 and 2018; however, neither resolution will make up a large portion of the surgical display market.

“Larger displays are becoming more affordable, and they are being installed in surgical rooms as medical on-site and virtual professional collaboration becomes more popular,” Fender said. “Larger screens are much easier for multiple viewers, and many are also used as live teaching devices.”


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