Teleradiology is part of the larger concept of telemedicine and has been in practice for almost 50 years. The extensive advancement in telecommunication networks, improved digital infrastructure that connects remote areas, and enhanced data transfer speeds has led the global teleradiology market to reach new heights. With further advancement in data transmission technologies, teleradiology will evolve from an ancillary exercise to a mainstream practice.
The high cost factor of technologically advanced medical imaging equipment needed for radiology accounts for the cost-intensive nature of radiology diagnostic modality. This, along with the unavailability of broadband networks in rural areas has been one of the toughest challenges for the teleradiology market. However, the significant rise in healthcare expenditures and expansion of broadband networks over the past few years have favored teleradiology practices to be adopted globally. These factors have been particularly beneficial for the teleradiology market to expand its reach to the emerging economies of Asia Pacific and Latin America.
The global teleradiology market is expected to display double-digit CAGR of 11.3% between 2015 and 2023 for the market’s valuation to increase from US$1,354.6 mn in 2014 to US$3,632.6 mn by 2023.
North America to Display Sustained Growth
Region-wise, North America currently dominates the global teleradiology market and is expected to offer considerable growth opportunities in the future as well. The teleradiology market in North America is driven by the presence of technologically advanced healthcare infrastructure, high awareness among individuals for technologically advanced healthcare, and the increasing integration of teleradiology with regular medical imaging services for value-added services.
In addition, the disproportion between the number of qualified radiologists and the volume of medical images produced is leading to the demand for teleradiology services. As per a recent report by The American College of Radiology’s Commission on Human Resources, the number of medical imaging is increasing by 6% every year in North America against the mere 2% increase in the number of radiologists every year in the region.
The increasing prevalence of cancers in the region is also exhibiting the need for effective teleradiology services for diagnostic or consultation purposes. Measures for the prevention of breast cancer is expected to augment the demand for telemammography modality in the coming years.
Nevertheless, Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as a promising region for the teleradiology market. Factors driving the demand for teleradiology services in the region include rising expenditure on healthcare by the emerging middle-class population in the region, advancement of healthcare infrastructure, and expansion of high-speed broadband networks.
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CT scan to Emerge as Key Growth Enabler
In 2014, X-ray technology held the largest share in the global market by revenue. X-ray diagnostic modality offers advantages such as low cost, accuracy, and low complexity of the resultant images, thereby leading to its dominant position in the global teleradiology market. The segment of computed tomography scan (CT scan) will emerge as the fastest-growing segment displaying a CAGR of 13.1% between 2015 and 2023. The rising use of CT scan diagnostic modality across remotely located small and medium-sized clinical service providers and healthcare centers will lead to increasing transfer of CT scan images via teleradiology.
Some of the leading companies in the global market for teleradiology market Agfa-Gevaert N.V., Everlight Radiology, InHealth Medica Reporting Ltd., Radisphere National Radiology Group Inc., RamSoft Inc., Telemedicine Clinic, TeleDiagnosys Services Pvt Ltd., Virtual Radiologic, Cybernet Medical Corporation, Global Diagnostics Ltd., ONRAD Inc., Radiology Reporting Online, Sectra AB, Teleradiology Solutions Inc., and The Telelaudo.
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