Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that is widely used in radiology to generate images of the anatomy and physiological processes of the body. In short, it is a non-invasive medical test that includes powerful magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to produce a detailed virtual image of internal organs. Closed MRI systems have a tube-like tunnel with a magnetic field of around 1.5 to 3.0 tesla or above to generate a detailed image of the organs. Closed MRI system is used in screening and diagnosis of brain, cardiac, spine, breast or abdominal abnormalities. According to the European Magnetic Resonance Forum (EMRF) Foundation, the US sale of MRI machines in 2014 / 2015 was approximately 11,500 MRI systems for which one quarter is an open system and rest are closed systems. The closed MRI system market is expected to witness growth, owing to its advantages over conventional open MRI and increasing incidence of brain and spinal injuries.
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The advantages of using closed MRI systems over open MRI systems are the prime factor fueling the market growth of closed MRI. Closed MRI systems have a field strength of 1.5 Tesla and can reach up to 3.0 Tesla, which can give four to five times clearer imaging results as compared to the open MRI system. Owing to such advantage the system are widely used for the lesion detection in multiple sclerosis, nerve visibility for brachial plexus, anatomic structures in the wrist or diagnostic accuracy for hepatic metastases.
Growing awareness regarding the benefits of MRI over X-ray and other imaging techniques using harmful radiation is also projected to propel the growth of closed MRI system market over the forecast period. For instance, over the period of January 2016 to January 2017, 3,234,690 patients underwent an MRI diagnosis in England. Moreover, a growing number of MRI machine installation is also projected to enhance the closed MRI system market growth. For instance, in March 2018, G. Greene Construction Co. installed a Siemens 3T MRI at Boston Children’s Hospital. Furthermore, Cape Breton Regional Hospital installed a new MRI unit, in March 2018. Also, growing incidences of spinal and brain injuries are expected to create a lucrative environment for the growth of the closed MRI market. For instance, according to the 2017 Spinal Cord Injury factsheet of National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the annual incidence of spinal cord injury in the U.S. is 54 cases per million or about 17,500 new cases each year.
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Owing to its closed structure, several claustrophobic patients suffer from panic attacks during MRI diagnosis. For instance, according to the factsheet of the 2014 Health Research Funding Organization, up to 13% of the patients suffer from panic attacks due to claustrophobia during MRI diagnosis. This factor is expected to hamper the market growth.
Furthermore, the high cost associated with a closed MRI system is also expected to hinder the growth of the closed MRI systems market and a lack of skilled professionals to handle the systems in emerging countries is a major challenge for the growth of the closed MRI system market. In 2016, according to the prediction of Global Health Workforce Labor Market Projections for 2030, global demand for health workers will rise to 80 million workers, double the current (2013) while the supply of health workers is expected to reach 65 million over the same period, resulting in a worldwide net shortage of 15 million health workers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016, India is lacking with 500,000 doctors. According to the recent study findings by Public Health Foundation of India for Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2015, radiography and imaging professionals alone accounts for 88.7% of skill gap out of 97.9% across various health workforce categories, amounting to a huge shortage of medical laboratory technicians.
Based on geography, the closed MRI system market has been segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Africa. Europe holds the dominant position in the closed MRI system market over the forecast period, and this can be attributed to the high adoption of closed MRI as compared to open MRI. For instance, according to the European Magnetic Resonance Forum (EMRF) Foundation, open systems are mostly sold in the U.S., and the market share of the open systems is limited in Europe. Therefore, this is expected to create a huge demand for closed MRI systems used in the diagnosis in Europe.
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Market – Competitive Analysis
Key players in the closed MRI systems market are Hitachi, Siemens Healthineers, Canon Medical Systems, GE Healthcare, Philips, Aspect Imaging, Bruker, Aurora Imaging Technology and Esaote S.P.A. Various strategies adopted by key players in closed MRI system market are mergers and acquisitions. For instance, in October 2015, Toshiba acquired a medical imaging application developer, Olea Medical. The acquisition is expected to enhance the MRI business of the company by offering Olea’s software for advanced post-processing and image analysis as well as the company’s relationships with research institutions and customers, this will support the MRI business.
Market – Taxonomy
By Strength of Magnetic Field
- 5 Tesla
- 0 Tesla
By End Users
- Diagnostic Centers
- Research Institutes
- North America
- Latin America
- Middle East
- Asia Pacific
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