Technology Advancements to Drive Medical Imaging Market

Medical/diagnostic imaging market offerings refer to different imaging modalities to get visual representations of the interior of body for various diagnostic and therapeutic ends. Medical imaging is constantly evolving and is fast transforming clinical and healthcare outcomes; the developments are mainly driven by innovative technologies such as 3D & 4D imaging, interoperability among various systems, adoption of big data analytics and some fundamental shifts experienced by the industry.

Over the past few years, the healthcare industry has markedly witnessed the shift from a fee-for-service world to value-based care—an industry shifts from volume to value; this has kept the diagnostic imaging solutions and radiology continuously evolving. Integrating of various clinical and imaging data with the help of high-end medical automation technologies coupled with workflow informatics technologies like big data analytics will help the patients and payers make the desired shift. The demand for high-end analytics solutions to not only achieve more effective and efficient diagnostics, but help improving operational metrics, as well.  

Across radiology, medical imaging professionals deliver more value by reducing length of patient stay, improving compliance, augmenting revenue, mitigating risks and minimizing medical errors, along with boosting clinical outcomes and quality. Governments in various countries have taken active initiative in establishing value-based payment models and will take some time to attain its full implications in radiology. In the U.S., value-based payments are mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) by using merit-based incentive payment systems and alternative payment models.

Emergence of big data analytics to drive advancements in imaging informatics technology

The application of big data analytics by clinicians and healthcare providers have enabled them to corroborate image findings with patient outcomes. As, Dr. Eliot Siegel, a researcher in the University of Maryland, asserts: “Medicine will increasingly go from anecdotal to data-driven using big data and analytics.” Combined with various machine-learning methods such as artificial intelligence, big data is expected to constantly transform the approach and access to reliable and accurate medical image analysis. Advancements in imaging informatics technology using 3D- ultrasound tool and their integration with cloud technology have profusely impacted the developments in medical/diagnostic imaging market. The ground-breaking technology in radiology have attracted industry stalwarts to take initiatives in various projects and make considerable investments. Some of the prominent initiatives expected to have profound impact on the medical imaging market are IBM's Watson Health project and GE Healthcare's Health Cloud offering, and include Dell Medical's partnership with Zebra Medical Systems.

Recent Trends & Developments In Imaging Modalities Shape Up Competitive Landscape

Increased adoption of breast cancer screening is a prominent trend gaining traction with radiologists and healthcare providers; especially in the U.S., mammography skeptics have emphasized the harmful effects in terms of screening false positives and downstream tests and the debate have gained momentum. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have taken initiatives to develop a single set of uniform guidelines for breast screening that will help to bring consensus between the two opposing groups—one, which endorse mammography among younger women and the other, which harp on the negative effects on screening.

These upheavals have led to some notable technology innovations and will lead to more research on adjunctive screening technologies such as abbreviated breast MRI protocols and will rev up developments in contrast-enhanced dual-energy mammography. Tomosynthesis is fast gaining traction among women's imaging.

Finding ways to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment through high-end medical imaging technologies will help in better understanding of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Recently, a massive project—considered as the world's largest medical imaging study will scan 100,000 Britons—was launched in U.K. will help doctors and clinicians in understanding the effect of environmental parameters, genetics, lifestyle changes and diet effect on human health; this is being considered as seminal development in diagnosis of diseases worldwide. Researchers taking part in the project hope to gain deeper insights into the causes of frailty in old age—how heart and lung functions and the health of the brain changes over age. The data will be shared with other scientists across various regions.

Market Growth

Innovative healthcare technologies by vendors focus on automated patient guidance and engagement solutions which would offer reliable and accurate medical image analysis. These disruptive technologies shape up the diagnostics, treatments and delivery of quality care of the future. As per a recent report by Allied Market Research titled “World Medical/Diagnostic Imaging Market - Opportunities and Forecasts, 2015 – 2022”, the world medical/diagnostic imaging market is expected to reach $45 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period; the growth is primarily driven by technological advancements in diagnostic imaging devices, rising incidences of chronic diseases, application of numerous medical imaging procedures, and growing concerns for an early diagnosis of various clinical disorders across regions. 

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