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Growing Demand for Medical Imaging Modalities and Technological Advancements to Boost the Medical Image Management Market

   January 2, 2023

Imaging equipment, such as CT, MRI, X-ray, and ultrasound machines, play an important role in healthcare as it enables the visualization of the interior of the patient’s body. The growing demand for imaging equipment is attributed to the increasing global geriatric population with an elevated risk of chronic diseases, the integration of advanced technologies in medical imaging equipment, government initiatives & funding aimed at improving imaging infrastructure, the growing demand for portable imaging equipment, and the rising need for early-stage diagnosis & treatment. Almost 2 in 5 Australians used diagnostic imaging services in 2018–2019. The percentage of people who utilized diagnostic imaging services increased from 37% in 2013–2014 to 39% in 2018–2019. Also, according to a National Health Service (NHS) report, between June 2019 and May 2020, 40.4 million imaging tests were performed in the U.K. It is estimated that globally about 3.6 billion diagnostic X-ray examinations and 40.4 million MRI scans are performed each year (Source: WHO). Moreover, the Free Diagnostic Services Programme, launched in Assam, India, provides free diagnostic services to patients. Under this program, CT scans, X-rays, and laboratory services are provided free of cost to all patients in Public Health Institutions in the state of Assam. The scheme was formally launched in May 2017, and 461,235 beneficiaries had already availed of this service by September 2020. Apart from these initiatives, various companies are partnering to encourage the adoption of medical imaging services among people, further increasing the demand for medical image management solutions. For instance, in September 2022, Philips Foundation and RAD-AID International (U.S.) partnered to increase access to ultrasound services for 50 million people in low- & middle-income countries. The Philips Foundation is already on a mission to improve access to quality healthcare for 100 million people from underserved communities annually by 2030.

Diagnostic imaging has transformed patient care and the practice of medicine by improving diagnosis & treatment. It also helps patients avoid unnecessary procedures. These benefits have boosted the demand for medical imaging services. Earlier, imaging was considered a tool for disease diagnosis; however, with technological innovations, it is now used to treat, manage, and predict illnesses. Medical imaging has become essential in the diagnosis & treatment of almost all major medical conditions, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, trauma, and neurological conditions. Technological advancements in modalities, including MRI, PET, CT, and ultrasound, have helped transform modern healthcare. The evolution of Digital Radiography (DR) or X-ray has increasingly moved the modality into the mobile space. Healthcare providers can conduct imaging exams anywhere by placing digital X-ray equipment onto a mobile cart-based system. Additionally, applying 3D and 4D technologies in radiology can help capture better images for improved diagnoses. For instance, Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) or 3D mammography has become the new standard in breast imaging due to dramatic improvements in lesion visibility and early cancer detection. Moreover, automation, reproducibility, and portability continue to be major trends driving the use of ultrasound equipment. Apart from 3D and 4D technologies, digital twins are becoming another focus area in the healthcare sector. Siemens Healthineers (Germany) discussed its organ digital twin technology powered by AI, which simulates an organ’s physiology to help doctors choose therapies with the best possible outcomes as tested virtually on the digital twin.

Advanced imaging modalities have had a significant impact on storage capacity requirements. As the actual imaging process progresses using advanced imaging modalities, there is a parallel and equally significant improvement in handling medical images and associated workflows. Such advancements in diagnostic imaging modalities are expected to propel the demand for medical image management solutions, such as PACS and VNA.

Thus, the growing demand for medical imaging modalities and technological advancements drive the global medical image management market. According to Meticulous Research®, the global medical image management market is projected to reach $7.22 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 7.6%.

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