Contrast media are used to enhance quality of medical imaging such as CT, MRI, PET/CT and ultrasound. Their value has long been recognized by radiologists and is well illustrated by their frequent use in radiology departments worldwide. Contrast media injectors (CMI) are devices employed for injecting contrast media into the body to improve the visibility of tissues for a medical imaging procedures. Currently, market players are engaged in developing contrast injectors with enhanced capabilities such as improved patient safety, patient imaging data integration and higher specificity. Other major advances include shorter injection time, higher productivity, ease of operation and reduced radiation exposure to operators thereby ensuring efficient workflow and imaging with accurate results. The market is witnessing significant advances in the design of contrast media injectors shifting from single head injection system to the dual head injection that permit efficient use of contrast media. All these features are expected to provide impressive growth opportunities for the contrast media injectors market. On the other hand, side effects such as extravasations, air embolism and allergic reactions to contrast media might restrain the market growth. Complicated operations of the injectors with integrated technologies may further hamper the market growth.
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CT injectors are the fastest growing segment owing to the large installed base of CT machines, low cost associated with scanning as compared to MRI and positron emission tomography (PET) along with a greater patient compliance. MR injectors and angio/vascular injectors constitute other major instrument segments that provide high reliability and accuracy in contrast injection. The uses of X-ray and ultrasound injectors are diminishing owing to the less reliability, complex workflow and technological restriction in imaging as compared to CT, MRI and other advanced techniques.
CT and MRI scanning procedures with contrast have increased in the past few years. The ability of CMI to control media flow and bolus chasing has added significant improvement in radiographic images. The most common indications for contrast-enhanced imaging include neurological, oncological, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal diseases. The rising incidence of life threatening diseases, trauma and complex fractures has increased the use of these scanning techniques to investigate doubtful clinical manifestations. Presently, CT and MRI scanning find numerous applications in most of the neurological disorders. Neuroimaging (CT, MRI and others) with contrast are best suited for neurological investigations such as brain injuries, intracranial hemorrhage, tumor and acute neurological changes. A study on neuroimaging in brain injury published in NeuroRX estimated that around 1.6 million head injuries occur in the U.S. each year and medical imaging is required in 48% (moderate to severe) of these cases.
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Geographical landscape elucidates the market trends for North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). North America and Europe dominated the contrast media injectors market in 2013 accounting for around more than 60% of the total market. The dominance of North America and Europe can be attributed to the high adoption of contrast media injectors (CMI) in radiology procedures by hospitals and clinicians as compared to other regions. These regions continue to dominate the market due to the high prevalence of cardiovascular and neurological disorders. According to the Heart Foundation in the U.S., an estimated 80 million people in the U.S. have one or more types of heart disease. Additionally, large numbers of traumatic and non-traumatic injuries helped the market grow consistently in the recent past.
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Asia Pacific is expected to show significant growth, accounting for approximately 25% of the total market in 2020. The contrast media injectors market in Asia Pacific is highly competitive and dominated by only a few market players such as Nemoto Kyorindo Co., Ltd. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% through 2020. Growth in the region is anticipated primarily due to economic growth in the region, which has led to increased disposable income and consequently, increased affordability of sophisticated imaging technology. Moreover, a large population base and growing geriatric population that is more prone to cardiovascular and certain neurological disorders would lead to a large potential patient base. Countries such as China, India and Australia exhibit significant growth prospect in terms of rapid increase in the installation of medical imaging equipment and procedures. According to the China Association of Medical Equipment, 11,242 CT units were operational in 2010 compared to 10,101 CT units in 2009. In 2010, around 1,141 CT units were sold in China; of those, 262 units were refurbished CT machines. With a population of more than 1.3 billion individuals and the existence of over 18,000 hospitals, the medical imaging market in China is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years.
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