Medical imaging refers to the visualization of the body parts, organs, tissues or cells for clinical diagnosis, disease monitoring and treatment. The imaging techniques used in medical devices include variety of modern equipments in the field of optical imaging, nuclear imaging, radiology and other image-guided intervention. The radiological method renders anatomical and physiological of the human body at a very high spatial and temporal resolution. The radiology discipline covers methods such as ultrasound, CT scan, X-ray, MRI and other similar devices. Whereas, the optical imaging techniques include devices such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), which helps in revealing abnormalities at cellular level with the help of optical tracers for specific tumor cells.
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OCT techniques are yet at early stages of development and are likely to uplift the medical imaging market in coming years. Nuclear imaging techniques such as PET and SPECT display remarkable details with respect to metabolism, physiology and molecular function. The major post processing work include activities such as, image reconstruction, image processing, 3D view generation, computer-aided detection, and quality control.
With the increasing development in medical research produces a continuous stream of knowledge about disease processes or stages, new therapeutic targets and complex relationship between a person’s genome and his and her related risk for diseases. Medical imaging can now play a central and vital role in global healthcare systems as it continues to improve patient outcomes and cost effective healthcare diagnostic for almost all disease and deformity class. Traditionally, medical imaging was considered as a tool for non-invasive mapping for recognition and localization of disease process.
Owing to technological advancements, a wide variety of new medical imaging techniques and methods produce important biological information about molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, organ function, metabolism, and functional genomics. Furthermore, the medical imaging which many think are only used in diagnostic procedures are now even used for treatment processes such as coronary angioplasty which is used for treating aortic aneurysm and stoppage of cerebral aneurysm bleedings.
Some of the major drivers for the medical imaging processes include miniaturization or portability of devices such as X-Rays, ultrasound devices which come in handheld device forms that enhance the reach and optimization of devices to rural, disaster sites, and even in ambulances which eventually save time for both patients as well as the physicians in case of emergencies. 3D imaging techniques are another opportunity area in the medical image processing market. However, such technically sophisticated devices are confined majorly to the developed economic regions due to lack of proper budget allocation from government and regulatory bodies.
The major restraints to the global medical image processing market include intense competition from local, lack of skilled radiologists especially in the emerging market and developing market and lack of proper medical reimbursement scenario. Despite such issue, the emerging economies are likely to be the fastest growing markets in the coming years due to substantial public and private investments in development of healthcare infrastructure and rise in disposable income among the middle class population.
Some of the prominent players in the global medical image processing market include Siemens Healthcare, Philips Healthcare, GE Healthcare, Toshiba Medical Systems Corp., Toshiba America Medical Systems, Rcadia Medical Imaging Ltd., TomTec Imaging Systems GmbH, Calgary Scientific Inc., Riverain Medical Group LLC among others.
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