Optical molecular imaging market to reach $400 million in 2014

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In vivo optical molecular imaging (OMI) is expected to move into clinical use as key tools in personalized medicine, complementing more established imaging tools, such as CT and MRI, and equipment sales are expected to reach $400 million in 2014 and nearly $1 billion by the end of the decade, according to a market report from Strategies Unlimited.

“The market will likely expand in two complementary directions: research systems and clinical systems,” said the firm. Recent advances in imaging agents also will power the transition of optical techniques from the lab to clinical settings. Cameras and optical filters will also be integral components of the clinical devices, according to the report.

The market report also said that large imaging firms, such as GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare and Philips Healthcare, are beginning to pursue optical molecular imaging, while more than 12 companies are already marketing OMI systems.

“Highly portable, fast and less expensive than conventional imaging technologies, it has the potential to bring sophisticated diagnostics right to the doctor's office. When coupled with more traditional imaging tools such as CT and MRI, optical imaging adds an unprecedented degree of quantification and specificity to the healthcare decision-making process,” noted Strategies Unlimited.

“However, this strong growth hinges on partnerships with key medical equipment vendors, the outcomes of clinical trials assessing imaging agents, regulatory approvals, patent litigation and decisions about insurance reimbursement,” added Strategies Unlimited, a research unit of PennWell, a media and information company based in Mountain View, Calif.