The worldwide medical imaging systems market is projected to exhibit remarkable growth over the forecast period (2012 to 2020). It is driven by high incidence of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Other factors influencing product demand are introduction of advanced medical imaging systems, like PACS (picture archiving and communication system) and a growing geriatric populace.
Medical imaging systems are mobile devices that take visual pictures of internal organs of humans for diagnostic & therapeutic purposes. These systems play a vital role in the home healthcare industry. They also help maintain a database of the human body in order to detect abnormalities. Demand for digital radiography systems is expected to create growth opportunities for the overall industry in the years ahead.
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The overall industry is split according to products, technologies, and regions. According to products, the segments are handheld and portable X-ray devices, ultrasound systems, computed tomography (CT), nuclear imaging, and closed & open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment. X-ray devices held the highest market share in 2013. This can be attributed to the surging demand for the same in emerging economies. Demand of filmless X-ray systems is expected to boost product demand over the forecast period. Use of nuclear imaging devices in conjunction with MRI & CT devices is highly beneficial during minimally invasive surgeries. Such a trend is expected to generate huge revenues in this product segment.
Technologies in the medical imaging systems industry are product-specific. Those associated with X-ray devices are computed radiography, digital radiography, and analog systems. CT technology comprises low-slice, medium-slice, and high-slice scanners. Nuclear imaging devices work on SPECT (Single-photon emission computed tomography) and PET (Positron emission tomography) technologies. Similarly, 2D, 3D & 4D, lithotripsy, Doppler, and HIFU are ultrasound system devices.
Computed radiography-based X-ray devices held the lion’s share in overall revenues in 2013. This segment generated revenues over USD 2.8 billion in the same year. Popularity of computer radiography-based X-ray devices owes to their cost effectiveness and user-friendliness. But demand for digital radiography-based devices is anticipated to exhibit a 5.8% CAGR till 2020. 2D was the leading technology for ultrasound systems in 2013. But it may soon be replaced by 3D & 4D technologies in the coming years.
According to regions, the worldwide Medical Imaging Systems Market is divided into Asia Pacific (APAC), North America, Europe, and Rest of the World (RoW). APAC can witness lucrative growth rate due to a growing geriatric population and steady growth of key emerging economies in the region. India and China in particular, may be the largest consumers of advanced medical imaging systems in the forthcoming years on account of construction of new hospitals. North America dominated the market in 2013 due to its sophisticated healthcare infrastructure and favorable reimbursement policies.
Notable players in the global Medical Imaging Systems Market are Toshiba America Medical Systems, GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare, and Shimadzu Corporation. The industry is highly fragmented due to the presence of well-established participants. New market entrants offer highly affordable products in order to attain higher market shares in the long run.
Toshiba America Medical Systems, an American medical device manufacturer, recently launched the “MR Theater”. It is an immersive virtual experience that distracts patients from the uneasiness that they experience during an MRI exam. This allows clinicians to acquire high-quality images and helps doctors with further diagnosis. Patients are also provided with earpieces to block noises within the MRI machine. This company recently acquired a five year contract with the U.S. Department of Defense for its medical imaging solutions.