Global Diagnostic Display Shipments Are on the Rise, DisplaySearch Reports

Global shipments of diagnostic displays are forecast to grow at a 5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), between 2014 and 2018. According to the latest DisplaySearch Specialty Displays Report, larger high-resolution wide-aspect-ratio displays are starting to become more popular, but 21.3” displays had a 67% share of unit shipments and a 65% share of revenues in the first half of 2014.

“The majority of future shipment growth will take place in emerging regions, not in developed regions, where much of the growth has previously occurred,” said Todd Fender, senior analyst professional and commercial displays for DisplaySearch, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS). “At the country level, brands are looking to China as the largest opportunity of growth, followed closely by Latin America.”

Figure: Global Diagnostic Display Shipments by Size (2014 – 2018)

Source: DisplaySearch Specialty Displays Report

Veteran radiologists who were trained to read images on traditional x-ray film using light boxes have been the driving force behind the continued strength of 21.3” displays with a 4:3 aspect ratio; however, as younger doctors enter the workforce, the legacy of film and grayscale-only images will slowly fade away. For example, in the first half of 2014, 43% of diagnostic displays were grayscale, but by 2018 these displays will have just 34% of the market.

In today’s traditional picture archiving and communication (PACS) display ecosystem, multiple displays are used to review and read images; however, this configuration may lead to lower productivity and faster eye fatigue. Larger and higher resolution single screens have entered the market over the last few years, in an attempt to reduce or eliminate these issues. Displays with 6-10 MPs (and even higher resolutions) are forecast to increase over the next several years, as users migrate from multiple screens to single-screen viewing.

Table: Diagnostic Display Growth Rates





6 MP





8 MP





9 MP





10 MP





Source: DisplaySearch Specialty Displays Report

Clinical-Review Displays and Surgical Displays

Similar to diagnostic display shipments, clinical-review display shipments are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4%, between 2014 and 2018. 83% of clinical review display sizes fall between 19” and 22”, and 98% have a resolution of 2 MP or lower. “There will be a gradual shift to 4 MP and 8 MP wide aspect ratio displays as availability increases and as prices fall,” Fender said.

Surgical display shipments are forecast to grow more than any other medical-imaging category, reaching 7% CAGR between 2014 and 2018. Although almost half of surgical displays fall between 15” and 20”, the fastest area of growth is forecast to be in displays that 55” and larger, which are expected to grow at a 23% CAGR between 2014 and 2018. Additionally, 8 MP and 9 MP displays will grow significantly between 2014 and 2018; however, neither resolution will have a large share of the surgical display market.

“Larger displays are becoming more affordable, and they are being installed in surgical rooms as medical on-site and virtual professional collaboration becomes more popular,” Fender said. “Larger screens are much easier for multiple viewers, and many are also used as live teaching devices.”

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