Industry update: 3 reasons the mammography market may soon slow down

Growth in the mammography market may begin to slow down in the near future, according to a new analysis from Signify Research.

Author Imogen Fitt described mammography as the breast imaging industry’s “undisputed modality of choice,” but also noted that it could be in for a significant shift. And how did she come to that conclusion? In her analysis, Fitt provided three key reasons:

1. DBT growth may have peaked

Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) adoption has provided the mammography market with a big boost, especially in the United States. But, as Fitt explained, “what goes up must eventually come down.”

“Despite recording an increase in the installed base of systems for 2018, vendors have reported that growth in the U.S. market has begun to slow,” she wrote. “As of June 2019, 61% of certified facilities possessed at least one DBT unit, and the market has now moved into late-stage adoption.”

The number of DBT-ready imaging solution installed in the U.S. is still on the rise, Fitt added, but its growth rate dropped from 11.7% in 2015 to 8.5% in 2018. That decline should continue for at least another five years, maybe longer.

2. Low-cost competitors are emerging

While DBT was provided by three primary vendors in the not-so-distant past, other companies are debuting their own solutions and presenting themselves as low-cost competitors. This, Fitt explained, will likely lead to an overall reduction in average selling prices (ASPs) of these systems.

3. Other modalities are gaining interest

Breast imaging is starting to involve ultrasound and MRI technologies on a more regular basis. In addition, if risk-based breast cancer screening strategies continue to grow more popular, it should lead to mammography playing a “principal, but less pronounced, role in screening.”

“This trend can be seen in its infancy in the U.S., where the continued impact of breast density campaigns is expected to lead to a corresponding rise in supplemental ultrasound screening,” Fitt wrote.

Fitt also emphasized that mammography, as a modality, will still be trusted by healthcare providers going forward.

“The slowdown in growth in the mammography market is not a reflection of mammography falling out of favor, more a signal that the market for its biggest revenue generator, DBT, is beginning to mature,” she wrote. “As interest increases in other emerging technologies, growth is instead predicted to begin to be seen elsewhere.”