The concept of teleradiology was born out of a need to tackle the widening gap between supply and demand for quality radiologists in contemporary healthcare. It can be dubbed as knowledge process outsourcing, wherein radiologists diagnose diseases or injuries with the help of medical imaging technologies such as x-ray, CT, or MRI, transferred to them from another location via internet. Over the years the popularity of teleradiology has grown by leaps and bounds and this has spawned a new industry altogether.
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Apart from Dearth of Radiologists, Many Other Factors Creating Demand for Teleradiology
There are many reasons behind the robust emergence of teleradiology, apart from the acute dearth of good radiologists. Uneven distribution of radiologists is one of them. Most radiologists prefer to work in cities where the payment is good and state-of-the-art technologies and equipment are available. As a result, remote towns and villages remain underserved or even unserved. The emergence of teleradiology has served to narrow this gap. Not only does teleradiology help in emergency situations, where services of a competent radiologist in a different location can be availed, but also in providing radiologists with a valuable second opinion, when they need one.
Radiologists can be classified as both clients and providers in teleradiology. Client radiologists can avoid making costly errors resulting from overexertion. They can also avoid longer work hours and grab proper rest, which is a must for efficiency.
Teleradiology is also a cost-effective solution for hospitals needing services of additional radiologists. It saves them the cost of hiring new radiologists by enabling them to outsource some of the scans performed to offsite radiologists. Further, teleradiology is a boon for its providers. It allows people to work from home or those with inclination, as well as capability, to moonlight as a teleradiologist.
These factors, coupled with a growing geriatric population, and the availability of new cutting edge technology such as high resolution images and 3D and 4D images, has resulted in robust growth of the market.
The Market for Teleradiology is Highly Fragmented with a Large Number of Local Players
The global teleradiology market is not a consolidated one. With a large number of local private players scattered all over, it is highly fragmented. There are a few key players with international presence, such as vRad, Inc., Radisphere National Radiology Group, USA Rad. Agfa-Gevaert N.V., ONRAD, Inc., Cybernet Medical Corporation, Radiology Reporting Online (RRO), etc.
How is the Teleradiology Market Segmented and What is the Scope of its Future Growth?
The teleradiology market can be segmented based on two parameters. One of them is modality, which classifies the market into computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear imaging type. Of them, x-ray sector has been the highest grosser on account of its usefulness in detecting bone and dental fractures and demand for bedside imaging and core diagnostics. However, the CT segment is expected to become a key contributor to the global teleradiology market in the coming years.
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The global market for teleradiology can also be divided into five segments on the basis of geography, namely Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East, and Rest of the World (RoW). North America led the market for teleradiology in 2015. It is estimated that the global teleradiology market would expand at an 11.3% CAGR from US$1,354.6 mn in 2014over the years to reach a valuation of US$3,632.6 mn in 2023.