Medical imaging reagents play an important role in diagnostic, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology medical and life science industries. Medical imaging reagents allow clinicians and healthcare providers to determine whether a tumor is malignant or benign and enables to locate any metastatic cancerous sites in the body. Medical imaging reagents are chemicals that are specially designed to enhance images produced through imaging systems. Ongoing advances in proteomics, genomics and cellular analysis are supported by sophisticated imaging technologies including nanoparticles, radiopharmaceuticals, fluorescent proteins, quantum dots and fluorescent dyes and probes. Development in technologies such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), biochips, hybrid imaging modalities and DNA sequencing relies on sensitive medical imaging reagents for producing enhanced images with detailed information.
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The primary factors driving the growth of the medical imaging reagents market are increasing demand for diagnostic and functional imaging technologies. Moreover, other factors contributing to the growth of this market are escalating incidence rate of cardiac disorders and cancer. Furthermore, immense application scope of advance medical imaging reagents and patient safety are also some of the factors driving the growth of the medical imaging reagents market. However, some of the important factors that negatively affect the growth of this market are shortage in supplies; high development cost coupled with unfavorable reimbursement policies and low awareness rate among the patient population.
The medical imaging reagents market is categorized on the basis of class, technology and applications. The three main classes of imaging reagents are contrast reagents, optical reagents and nuclear reagents. The contrast reagents market of the medical imaging reagents accounted for the largest market in 2011 (44%). However, the nuclear reagents market is expected to experience the fastest growth rate during the forecast period owing to the high adoption rate for localized tracers and nuclear medicine. Moreover, the technology segment comprises nanoparticles, fluorescent proteins, radiopharmaceuticals, quantum dots, fluorescent dyes and probes. Among these, nanoparticles technology is expected to grow at a high growth rate of over 8% from 2013 to 2019 due to the widespread applicability of these technologies along with high research and development initiatives being taken up for the development of their application areas. Furthermore, in terms of applications, this market is categorized into diagnostics, drug discovery and development as well as research and development; among which, drug discovery and development is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to the growing adoption rate of medical imaging reagents in the pre-clinical studies and medical interventions. However, diagnostic applications accounted for the largest market in terms of revenue due to the escalating patient base of chronic diseases (e.g. cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases).
North America is the largest market for medical imaging reagents owing to the increased incidence of cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases as well as high awareness about advanced imaging modalities and reagents, followed by Europe. However, rise in healthcare expenditure and the prevailing unstable economic conditions have led to a sluggish growth in the global medical imaging reagents market. Asia-Pacific is expected to foresee the highest growth due to strong economic developments, high incidence rate of cardiovascular diseases coupled with increasing demand for non-ionizing imaging reagents.
Bayer Healthcare AG, Becton Dickinson & Company, Bracco Imaging SpA, Cardinal Health, Inc., GE Healthcare, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. are major companies leading the medical imaging reagents market.
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