Good things continue to come to the bone densitometer market, driven by the success and growing popularity of DEXA machines.
The global market for bone densitometers is expected to reach $1.2 billion by 2024. Such a forecast puts it at a market growth of 4.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), growth driven mostly by the increase in osteoporosis diagnoses spurred by demographic changes worldwide.
Experts segment the bone densitometer market into three categories:
Of those segments, DEXA is the largest. A key reason: its ability to diagnose osteoporosis and assess the risk for developing osteoporotic fractures.
Medical professionals and patients alike consider a DEXA scan a swift and noninvasive procedure, which has helped it become a standard method for diagnosing osteoporosis. It’s a vital capability to help treat an aging population.
To be sure, though, a DEXA machine can do more than identify bone density issues, as critical as that capability is. There’s another factor driving DEXA’s popularity and its market success around the world.
An unmistakable driver of current and — future — DEXA machine purchases is their ability to identify high amounts of visceral fat in a person’s body. Visceral fat can contribute to many serious ailments, including:
- Heart attacks and heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Elevated blood pressure
The DEXA’s ability to identify and quantify a subject’s visceral fat amounts can be used to combat obesity, helping to keep these chronic diseases at bay, along with osteoporosis. This ability alone can make a DEXA machine indispensable to a healthcare practice — which contributes to the global demand.
The bone densitometers market is rife with innovation, including advancements in 3D modeling and simulation that may aid clinical researchers in developing biomechanical criteria that helps diagnose hip fracture risk. Because hip fractures can reduce mobility and quality of life, and may increase mortality, being able to predict hip fractures is very important.
Such innovation leads potentially to positive developments in treatments. For example, recent research determined that men — particularly black men — tended to be notably undertreated for osteoporosis. Knowing this is crucial in identifying osteoporosis awareness gaps so more men can receive the treatment they need. And from a purely economic/market perspective, it highlights another positive indicator since that increased awareness is likely to result in an increased need for bone densitometers in the near future.
Here’s one possible way that increased awareness might come about:
According to the National Health Interview Survey, men exercise more than women. Convincing those same men of a DEXA scan’s efficacy in cataloging precise body composition info may result in more of them complimenting their exercise regimens with DEXA scans. And more body composition scans means more men see not only their percentages of visceral fat and muscle mass but their bone density data, too.
The highly specific data generated by a DEXA scan means even more to serious athletes. That’s because such data is ideal for determining the effectiveness of a particular training program. So whether it is men in general, or just the percentage of men more serious about their training, that turn to DEXA, there’s an increased chance in improving those bone density numbers as they relate to men.
Meeting Anticipated Growth
Driving market growth for DEXA machines in the coming years is a broad mix of conditions:
- Technological advancements that lead to quick and accurate detection
- Health issues such as those that organically arise from a growing geriatric population and increasing obesity rates
- Rising numbers in Americans exercising often enough to meet government recommendations
Taken together, it’s easy to see how a near-5% CAGR is possible within the next few years. As that rate means increased opportunities to treat patients dealing with potentially life-altering health issues, it means a positive future for manufacturers, healthcare providers, and patients alike.