Nuclear Imaging Services Market – Introduction

Nuclear medicine (NM) is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive substances for diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of various diseases. Nuclear imaging involves use of techniques that provide qualitative and quantitative information about the physiological processes within the human body.

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Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), scintiography, and PET are various techniques in nuclear medicine that use a radiotracer element and gamma camera to capture an image for clinical diagnostics. Nuclear imaging with radiotracer elements is used for the diagnosis and treatment of various cardiac disorders such as cardiac infarction, cardiac failure, ventricular arrhythmia, and thrombosis.

Nuclear Imaging Services Market – Competitive Landscape

In February 2019, RadNet Inc. signed a definitive agreement to acquire outpatient radiology practice of Kern Radiology Medical Group, Inc. The firm owns five imaging centers based in California, providing multimodal offerings including MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and bone density, and interventional procedures. The strategy enabled the company to expand its presence in existing market and broaden its customer base in the county.

In June 2016, GE Healthcare launched an advanced molecular imaging systems i.e., digital PET/CT system and SPECT/CT that enable clinicians to improve the detection of smaller lesions and enhance quantitative accuracy due to CZT technology in these systems.

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RadNet, Inc.

Founded in 1985, RadNet Inc. is a leading player offering high-quality and cost-effective diagnostic outpatient imaging services in the U.S. The company operates through a network of 344 owned and operated outpatient imaging centers. The firm offers various diagnostic imaging services including CT, MRI, PET, X-ray, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, mammography, fluoroscopy, and other related procedures.

Siemens Healthineers AG

Founded in 1847, Siemens Healthineers AG is a global provider of health care solutions and services. The company develops, manufactures, and sells a diverse range of market-leading and innovative diagnostic, imaging, and advanced therapy products and services to healthcare providers around the world. The imaging segment offers products and services in computed tomography, magnetic resonance, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, X-ray systems, and molecular imaging.

Other prominent service providers operating in the global nuclear imaging services market include Nueclear Healthcare Limited, MedQuest Associates, Inc. (Novant Health), Dignity Health (CommonSpirit Health), I-MED Radiology Network (Permira), Sonic Healthcare, and Alliance Healthcare Services, Inc. Other leading equipment manufacturers operating in the global market are GE Healthcare, Positron Corporation, and Koninklijke Philips N.V. These players focus on launch of innovative products and engage in merger, acquisitions, partnerships, and joint ventures to expand product offerings, increase customer base, and strengthen position in the market.

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Nuclear Imaging Services Market – Dynamics

Rise in Incidence of Chronic Disorders Leads to Surge in Imaging Procedures Globally

Increase in geriatric population, rise in prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer across the globe boost the growth of the global nuclear imaging services market. Moreover, the number of nuclear medicine procedures is anticipated to increase significantly in the near future. Surge in the number of imaging procedures implies that increasing number of people are suffering from chronic disorders. According to the National Health Service (NHS) England, 406,440 nuclear imaging scans were performed in the country between November 2017 and November 2018. This is expected to propel the global nuclear imaging services market in the next few years. Moreover, rapid technological advancements including development of hybrid technologies such as SPECT/CT and PET/CT to increase image quantification are likely to fuel the growth of the global market.

Lack of Skilled Personnel Hampers Nuclear Imaging Services Market

Shortage of radiologists to meet the rising demand for diagnostic imaging services is likely to affect the nuclear imaging services market. According to data released by the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) in 2017, the U.K. did not have enough radiologists to meet diagnostic and imaging demand in the NHS. The U.K. has the least number of radiologists per person in any country in Europe, with a shortage of 1,000 radiologists. Shortage of radiologists and complex scans due to technological advances leads to delayed scan results and delayed diagnosis of diseases in health care settings which is likely to hamper the growth of nuclear imaging services market in the coming few years.

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North America and Europe Hold Significant Share of the Nuclear Imaging Services Market

North America accounted for major share of the global nuclear imaging services market in 2018. Increase in the number of nuclear imaging procedures performed in the region and rapid adoption of technologically advanced systems such as hybrid imaging contribute to North America’s dominant share of the global market. For instance, approximately 1.5 million PET procedures are performed in the U.S. each year. Moreover, favorable reimbursement for nuclear imaging procedures is expected to drive the market in North America.

Europe is anticipated to account for significant share of the global nuclear imaging services market between 2019 and 2027. Increase in the geriatric patient pool, rise in prevalence of cancer, and surge in the number of PET/CT and SPECT scans in the U.K. are likely to boost the growth of the market in the region.

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