Hitachi halts marketing SceptreP3

September 6, 2007

In the face of the changing dynamics of the PET/CT market, Hitachi Medical Systems America has decided to stop promoting its SceptreP3 product line.

In the face of the changing dynamics of the PET/CT market, Hitachi Medical Systems America has decided to stop promoting its SceptreP3 product line.

The PET/CT market nosedived in the U.S. after the Deficit Reduction Act took effect this year. The DRA took its toll on outpatient clinics, which had accounted for about 70% of past sales. Recent rulings by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have made the situation worse for these centers by reducing reimbursement for PET scans.

These reimbursement forces created the perfect storm for Hitachi. Despite the value-oriented niche of the SceptreP3 line, its technology was losing ground.

"The SceptreP3 product line is a four-slice PET/CT in a market that has moved to 16-slice PET/CTs," said Sheldon Schaffer, Hitachi Medical Systems America vice president. "Therefore, at this time, we decided not to actively market the system. We will be re-evaluating the PET/CT market and business opportunities later this year."

The company has not set a time line for deciding how - or whether - it will proceed.

"We want to watch the market and, based on its dynamics, will determine the appropriateness of participating in that marketplace," Schaffer said.

The SceptreP3 has not been around that long. The system was cleared by the FDA less than three years ago, in November 2004.

Hitachi Medical Systems America marketed the product as a hybrid PET/CT that was distinct from competitors because of its dual-attenuation correction, which combines both CT and cesium-source attenuation correction to image patients with metal implants and prosthetics. A nonrigid Fusion 7D algorithm provided registration of the PET and CT images, correcting patient motion due to respiration. The AVIA-PACS architecture offered connectivity and workflow solutions, according to the company.

As part of its commitment to the medical imaging marketplace, Hitachi will continue to support sites that have purchased the SceptreP3, Schaffer said. The company did not disclose the size of this installed base.