In December 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced a new development in X-ray technology. Usually, X-rays cannot image the body’s soft tissues and imaging to an extent is only possible after contrast-enhancing agents are administered to the patient. The result however, offers limited resolution. With the help of the new technology, detailed and clear images of soft tissues would be visible without any need for contrast agents. X-ray devices segment contribute majorly towards the global diagnostic imaging devices market. This latest breakthrough in the X-ray technology is expected to propel the demand for advanced X-ray devices, thereby pushing the growth of overall diagnostic imaging devices market.
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Technological Advancements in Various Diagnostic Imaging Devices Will Drive its Demand
Technological advancements play a crucial role in the growth of the diagnostic imaging devices market. For example, in the last decade ultrasound technology has developed from black and white 2D images to multi-dimensional and live action views inside the womb. The HDlive ultrasound technology developed by GE Healthcare generates realistic images of the human fetus from sonographic data. The multi-dimensional view lets doctors see the vascular system, the heart, the brain, and the other organs of the baby to diagnose any abnormalities.
Radiologists usually face difficulties in visualizing smaller lesions while administering smaller radiation doses. The latest PET/CT scanner offers largest axial field-of-view to help radiologists see the smaller lesions. Diagnostic imaging devices manufacturers such as Philips, Toshiba, and GE Healthcare are focusing on providing high image quality scanning with lowest possible exposure doses.
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MRI scanners have undergone a number of technological advancements. The older MRI scanners were like a tunnel, where the patient had to lie down for about 40-60 minutes to undergo complete scan. Patients suffered from claustrophobia as well as back and neck pain from lying still for a prolonged period. The open MRI scanners have tried to solve these problems. Lately, short bore magnets have been introduced which combine the accuracy of the tunnel scanner and the comfort of an open MRI scan to provide the highest quality images. Siemens Healthcare is working on a project to develop a human brain scanner to acquire adequate knowledge to make correct diagnoses and offer treatment for various neuropsychiatric illnesses. The MRI technology is constantly improving, although the end consumers (doctors and their patients) are bearing the brunt.
Patient’s Comfort – a Priority while Introducing Technological Advancements
With the increasing demand for better diagnostic imaging devices, the manufacturers are investing heavily in the research and development activities. Various regulations such as the Healthcare Act in the U.S. has focused more on increased speed in diagnosis and patient comfort. According to a senior manager in Toshiba, it has become important for the manufacturers to improve patient satisfaction through technological innovations. This will further pave the path for tremendous growth in the global diagnostic imaging devices market.