Philips sees MRI sales soar in 1994, courtesy of Gyroscan NT

August 15, 1994

Vendor on track to double MRI shipmentsPhilips Medical Systems is reaping rewards from the retoolingof its MRI product line last year. The Dutch vendor has sold over100 of its new Gyroscan NT scanners and is on track to doubleits MRI sales

Vendor on track to double MRI shipments

Philips Medical Systems is reaping rewards from the retoolingof its MRI product line last year. The Dutch vendor has sold over100 of its new Gyroscan NT scanners and is on track to doubleits MRI sales volume over last year.

Philips introduced the two scanners in the Gyroscan NT lineat last year's Radiological Society of North America conference(SCAN 12/29/93). The 0.5-tesla and 1.5-tesla scanners were designedfor high-performance imaging at a cost-effective price. Both featureecho-planar imaging (EPI) and GRASE fast scanning sequences, whiletheir compact design and relatively light weight make siting easier,according to the company.

The scanners have been well-received since Philips began marketingthem this year, according to Chris Farr, MRI marketing directorfor Philips Medical Systems North America. Philips has sold over100 systems globally in the first five months of 1994. If orderscontinue at the same rate, Philips will have sold over twice asmany MRI scanners by the end of this year as in 1993, when thevendor logged 100 sales, Farr said.

"We are really pleased by the response of the market,"Farr told SCAN.

Buyers are attracted to the scanners because of their compactsize and economical siting requirements, according to Farr. Theimage quality of Gyroscan NT, which is capable of 1024 x 1024matrix imaging, has also won adherents.

The impressive numbers posted by Philips contrast sharply withan MRI market mired in a serious sales slump, especially in theU.S. Philips estimates that the U.S. market last year was down40% compared to 1992 levels, with no sign of improvement thisyear. As a result, several smaller MRI vendors are slashing theirsales and marketing efforts, as in the case of Otsuka Electronics(see story, page 1).

Philips has limited its exposure to a downturn in the U.S.market by adopting a more international focus for its productmarketing efforts. The U.S. is one leg of a triad that includesEurope and Asia. Perhaps as a result, the U.S. has accounted foronly 20% of Gyroscan NT sales, which is on a par with the vendor'sexpectations, Farr said.

"This year the market overseas is stronger than in theU.S.," Farr said. "We have been surprised at how wellthe machine is doing in places like Japan, which has not beena strong market for MRI from Europe."

Philips is expecting to increase its market share this yearas a result of Gyroscan NT's strong showing. Philips held 7% ofthe U.S. MRI market last year and about 15% of the global market,Farr said.