Report: U.S. imaging market lags behind new techs, emerging markets

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The diagnostic imaging market will be marked by an expansion of hybrid modality technology, the growth of imaging in emerging markets and negative growth due to reimbursement cuts in the U.S., according to a report by GBI Research, a business information company, distributed by Industry Review.

According to the report, “Diagnostic Imaging Market to 2017: Fusion Technology to Increase Adoption Rates of Hybrid Imaging Systems,” the trend of fusing two different modalities will continue to evolve and will be a mainstay of imaging in the future.

One of the first hybrid modalities was the PET/CT, and radiologists have been quick to adopt the technology for diagnosis and treatment planning for radiation therapy.

“The advantages of combining two different modalities have been manifold,” according to the GBI Research report. “PET/CT has been adopted across the globe given its advantages in imaging anatomy as well as the physiology of the organs which have been extremely useful in the imaging of tumors as well as in cardiac imaging.”

Next on the horizon for fusion technology? PET/MRI. The report noted that the industry’s first PET/MRI was approved by the FDA in June 2011.

As technology marches on, the overall imaging market in the U.S. has taken a hit in recent years, largely as a result of reimbursement cuts, according to the report. In 2008, the diagnostic imaging market in the U.S. was worth $71. 3 billion, but that dropped to $61.4 billion by 2010.

However, demand in emerging countries could compensate for the decline of the American market and saturation in other developed countries.

“Emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil are witnessing a high growth rate in the diagnostic imaging market,” read the report. “The demand for diagnostic imaging equipment in emerging countries will offset for the low demand in developed markets.”

China is building approximately 30,000 hospitals in rural areas that will need imaging equipment, while India’s demand will be sparked by new hospitals in urban areas, according to GBI Research.

Overall, the leading vendor in the global diagnostic imaging market for 2010 was GE Healthcare with a market share of 22 percent, according to the report. Siemens and Philips Healthcare were next with 20 and 17 percent market share, respectively.

You can purchase the full report here.