World Ultrasound Market Forecast – Mid Year Update

Publication Date: 10/09/2019

Cranfield, UK – 10th September 2019 – Written by Simon Harris After a record year in 2018, the current world trade slowdown is taking its toll on the ultrasound market and the outlook for 2019 is for slower growth. The main regional growth trends are discussed below.

North America: US Market Buoyed by Premium Carts and Handheld Systems

Following a weak 2017, the US market grew relatively strongly in 2018 with high single-digit annual growth. Radiology, cardiology and point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) were the main growth drivers. However, the market has been relatively weak in the first half of the year and the outlook for 2019 is for low single-digit growth. The main bright spots are at opposite ends of the market, with the preimium cart and handheld segments on track for the strongest growth. With further uncertainty on the horizon with the 2020 election looming, the prospect of a near-term recovery is unlikely.

Latin America: Health Reform in Mexico Boosts Demand

The short-term prospects for the Lain America ultrasound market are mixed, with some markets (e.g. Argentina and Venezuela) forecast to decline, while others (e.g. Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia) are forecast to grow relatively strongly. Following two consecutive years of robust double-digit annual growth, the Brazilian ultrasound market is forecast to grow much slower in 2019, largely due to over-stretched public finances. This slowdown is expected to be largely off-set by a resurgence of the Mexican market, which is growing strongly on the back of the government’s plans to restructure the health system and introduce a new program for the more than 60 million Mexicans without insurance. Overall, the Latin America ultrasound market is forecast to grow at a mid-single digit rate in 2019.

Western Europe: Correction Year Expected After Strong 2018

2018 was an exceptionally strong year for the Western European ultrasound market, largely due to increased tender activity. Several key markets grew at a double-digit annual rate – much higher than the single-digit growth that vendors are accustomed to. Growth has slowed in the first half of 2019, and with several of Europe’s major economies teetering toward recession, the full year outlook is for a return to the historical average of around 2% growth.

Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa – Look to Africa for Growth

The Eastern European ultrasound market grew strongly in 2018 on the back of several large EU-funded tenders and strong private sector growth. However, the annual growth rate is forecast to slow down considerably in the coming years due to anticipated cuts in EU funding. Despite the challenging economic environment, the recent run of high growth for the Russian ultrasound market has continued into 2019 and another year of double-digit growth is forecast.

The Middle-Eastern economy is expected to stagnate in 2019 due to a combination of slower oil sector growth, geopolitical tensions and civil unrest. This is likely to dampen demand for ultrasound in most countries in the region. One fo the few bright spots is Saudi Arabia. Following steep market declines in recent years, the Saudi Arabia ultrasound market is forecast to return to growth in 2019, albeit at a modest single-digit rate, largely driven by the increasingly important private sector.

Africa is bucking the trend of slowing growth and the ultrasound market grew much faster in the first half of 2019 than in recent years. The market is on track to grow at a double-digit rate in 2019, with the best opportunities for growth to be found in North Africa.

China: Weaking Economy Impacts Demand for Ultrasound

For several years, China has been the growth engine for the world ultrasound market, with consistently high double-digit annual growth. However, in more recent times, the world’s second-largest economy has entered a phase of slowdown and this is negatively impacting the ultrasound market. The annual growth rate is forecast to dip below 10% for the first time in 2019. With the Chinese OEMs capturing a growing share of the domestic market as they penetrate the high-end segment, China is becoming an increasingly tough market for the major multinational brands.

Japan: No end in sight to the downturn

The Japanese ultrasound market declined for a second consecutive year in 2018 and this trend has continued into 2019. The government plans to raise consumption tax in the second half of the year and the subsequent price increases are likely to further dampen demand for ultrasound equipment. A double-digit market decline in 2019 should not be ruled-out.

Southeast Asia: US-China Trade War Weakens Ultrasound Market

The Southeast Asia ultrasound market has grown strongly in recent years, but there was a notable slowdown in several key markets in 2018. The Southeast Asia economy is export driven and uncertainty over the US-China trade negotiations have resulted in slower economic growth in the first half of 2019, negatively impacting demand for ultrasound. Despite the slowdown, the region still represents a growth market for ultrasound, particularly over the longer term, with Vietnam and Indonesia the best prospects for growth in 2019.

Related Market Report

“World Market for Ultrasound Equipment – 2019 Edition” provides a data-centric analysis of current and projected demand for cart, compact and handheld ultrasound systems. It features analysis of 30 geographic markets, with breakdowns by clinical application and product mix. The report is based on a robust primary research method and sales data reported by vendors of ultrasound equipment.

About Signify Research

Signify Research is an independent supplier of market intelligence and consultancy to the global healthcare technology industry. Our major coverage areas are Healthcare IT, Medical Imaging and Digital Health. Our clients include technology vendors, healthcare providers and payers, management consultants and investors. Signify Research is headquartered in Cranfield, UK.