Hybrid imaging systems such as PET/CT and SPECT/CT are on the rise and have gained widespread recognition among the medical oncology community, according to a report from market research firm Frost & Sullivan.
Major original equipment manufacturers no longer offer stand-alone PET scanners as PET/CT hybrids have become the current standard imaging tool for oncology exams. The use of SPECT/CT systems is also on the rise, beginning to affect the sales of stand-alone SPECT systems, according to the report.
In addition, recent developments in solid-state detectors have enabled PET integration with MRI scanners. As a result, prototype PET/MRI devices have become available for immediate utilization for preclinical imaging. Moreover, another hybrid that combines SPECT with MRI is expected to be available soon, said the analysis.
The analysis also found that development of time-of-flight and high-density PET systems as well as recent developments in enabling technologies such as the scintillators, photo-detectors, high-speed electronics, multi-slice CT and novel radiopharmaceutical agents are the major technology drivers for the hybrid scanner market.
The cost of a PET/CT fusion scanner ranges anywhere between $1.9 million and $2.4 million, depending on the system configuration; however, this does not include the additional costs for extended interpretation times required by the radiologists. This is much larger than the cost of a stand-alone PET or CT scanner, which limits its availability in small medical imaging clinics and rural setups.
The cost of a PET/MRI machine is expected to be anywhere between $2.5 million and $3 million. This calls for a cost-benefit evaluation of the technology to see if there are actual cost offsets gained because of faster imaging, noted the analysis.
Additionally, original equipment manufacturers must proactively partner with large hospital groups in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, India and Australia to maximize product visibility and outreach in these regions, added Frost & Sullivan.