por Lauren Dubinsky
, Senior Reporter | April 07, 2014
The global diagnostic imaging market is expected to reach $27.1 billion by 2018, according to a recent MarketsandMarkets report.
A multitude of factors are fueling this anticipated growth. Diagnostic procedures are becoming more popular, which is leading to more imaging systems being purchased.
Diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders have become more prevalent and there's also a growing awareness about early disease diagnosis among people in emerging markets, according to the report.
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Additionally, public and private investments are sprouting in mature and emerging markets and a there's a lot of ongoing research activity worldwide.
Although so many factors are driving this market, challenges still remain. Diagnostic imaging systems tend to be pricey and not every facility is willing to invest. In addition, the risk of radiation exposure remains a huge concern.
Health reform also plays a role. There's poor health insurance coverage for diagnostic procedures, with specialists experiencing a lot of reimbursement cuts. Other factors include market saturation due to high competition and the lack of qualified personnel to operate the imaging systems.
GE Healthcare had been the leader in the global market as of 2012 and over the past three years they have adopted product launches and collaborations in order to stay dominant. But Hitachi Medical Corporation, Philips Healthcare, Shimadzu Corporation and Siemens Healthcare are other main players.
North America held the largest share of the global market as of 2013, followed by Europe. But the Asia-Pacific market is expected to grow even faster than those markets from 2013 to 2018, at a CAGR of 5.9 percent, according to the report. In that region, government initiatives and investments to improve health care facilities, the need for diagnostics because of the rise in chronic diseases, and the large amount of research activities is fueling the market.
These markets have also become a business hub for companies that are looking to develop and market diagnostic imaging systems.