(This article has been updated with a correction.)
The average cost of angiography systems dropped 25% in January 2015 compared with the same month last year, as buyers showed less interest in purchasing higher-end systems, according to the Modern Healthcare/ECRI Institute Technology Price Index.
The average cost of the systems was $973,353 in January. Lower-end, single-plane systems start around $500,000, while higher-end biplane systems and those used in hybrid operating rooms can cost as much as $2.5 million.
Biplane angiography systems, predominantly used by neuroradiologists and neurointerventionalists, can give physicians a simulated 3-D view of blood vessels and organs in real time.This can be useful during difficult open surgeries or minimally invasive procedures.
Biplane systems cost $1.8 million on average in January, while hybrid OR-configured systems had an average cost of $1.5 million.
Angiography systems are the fifth most expensive capital item in the Modern Healthcare/ECRI index, rivaled by MRI scanners, PET/CT scanners, linear accelerators and radiosurgical devices, including stereotactic systems.
The decrease in demand for the higher-end systems may be the result of maturing technology, said Jason Launders, director of operations for ECRI Institute's health devices group.
Manufacturers' ability to offer 3-D features and other advanced functions grew significantly in the recent past, Launders said. So it's possible manufacturers now aren't offering as many new, competitive features, instead competing on price.
“There's a huge amount of competition,” Launders said. “Hospitals are definitely looking to play manufacturers against each other to get the cost down.”
The index looks at monthly and yearly price data for 30 supply and capital items purchased by hospitals and other healthcare providers, based on three-month rolling averages.
The four major manufacturers of angiography systems are General Electric, Philips, Siemens and Toshiba Corp., according to ECRI. Shimadzu Corp. also commands a sizable share of the market.
(This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Jason Launders' name.)