The promise of cost and clinical benefits are spurring the penetration of imaging modalities in cardiac applications. While demographics are favouring market growth, cardiac imaging device manufacturers will have to focus on innovative, patient-friendly products that promote greater safety and easier operability.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.healthcare.frost.com), Global Trends in Medical Imaging – Cardiology Applications, finds that there has been a shift in the adoption pattern for imaging modalities. With the markets in North America and Europe mostly saturated, the largest revenue share is now generated by emerging economies like China, India, Russia and Brazil. The research covers 4 diagnostic modalities for cardiac applications: cardiac computed tomography (CT), cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiography and interventional cardiology.
Demographics are playing a key role in the market. An aging population has been the foremost driver in the healthcare market. The rising incidence of cardiovascular diseases is expanding the patient pool, while resulting in escalating demand for equipment and software that enable better diagnoses.
This is highlighting the need for technologically advanced medical imaging modalities. However, the lack of consensus on which imaging modality is most appropriate for a particular cardiac ailment has affected uptake levels.
"All the modalities are here to stay," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Akanksha Joshi . "What is less clear is which of these modalities is most appropriate for which patients and in which clinical scenarios in terms of diagnostic accuracy and, even more importantly, in terms of patient outcome and cost-effectiveness."
During product development and marketing, therefore, manufacturers need to consider the fact that the choice of modality used is based on the preference of the cardiologist or radiologist. Moreover, they need to account for preference patterns for a particular modality showing regional variations.
The adoption of advanced modalities is slower in the cardiology space, compared to other segments. This is partly due to the lack of skilled healthcare professionals who can effectively use the new devices.
"It is therefore critical for manufacturers to provide innovative, accurate, reliable and patient-friendly equipment," advises Joshi. "Such endeavours will assuage the apprehensions of the medical community in using new technology."