The CT market is on its way to being worth $6.14 billion by 2025, with demand driven by providers worldwide looking to upgrade from low-end CT to mid- and high-end CT scanners, according to Frost & Sullivan.
Currently valued at $4.16 billion, the consulting firm predicts opportunities in the market for traditional and mobile CT, cardiac scanning and AI-powered imaging for cancer diagnostics. It is already witnessing an expansion in clinical applications and new technological innovations being developed, and puts the compound annual growth rate for the rise at 8.1%.
"Due to a large existing installed base of scanners with fewer than 16 slices in emerging and developing economies purchased between 2012 and 2014, pent-up demand for CT replacements propels the growth of higher-slice CT. During the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile CT has potentially influenced purchase and usage to assess lung infection. In the stationary CT, 64 slice CT scanners have a better penetration rate," Poornima Srinivasan, Frost & Sullivan consultant for healthcare & lifesciences, told HCB News.
Driving the trend for these high-end technology scanners are cardiac, neurology and liver imaging, with university and academic centers and public hospitals in North America, Western Europe, and Japan are expected to propel revenue for this segment. Demand for 16- to 64-slice scanners are also expected to grow moderately at diagnostic imaging centers in developing regions of LATAM, India and China.
An estimated 375 million CT procedures are performed annually and grow 3%-4% per year. Demand significantly increased in the wake of the pandemic as a majority of countries immediately seeking out and purchasing CT equipment for lung screenings. Despite these new purchases, capacity for traditional unit shipments did not reach its full potential annually. But as a result, Frost & Sullivan expects there to be pent-up demand for CTs to fulfill needs-based requirements.
New applications at play include photon-counting detector technology, machine learning, deep learning and spectral imaging, according to the report. AI-powered CT, in particular, is expected to make a splash by enhancing cancer detection and helping to better handle large volumes of patients. Frost & Sullivan projects regulatory approvals in the next year or two, with a significant uptake by 2025. It advises that CT manufacturers be transparent and flexible in their prices for such devices and partner with startups to reap the benefits early on.
Edward Rodriguez, a clinical advisor with symplr, said in June that demand for CT was also picking up in the nuclear medicine market
, with 20% of providers showing interest in PET/CT and 18% in both nuclear medicine CT and specialty systems. This, he says, will help the molecular imaging market reach $5.855 billion by 2025. “Previously, nuclear medicine systems have been the second most frequent quotes submitted by our client members for analysis. However, in the last 12 months PET/CT has been the second most active, including both the 16 to 40 and 64 to 128-slice supplier solutions.”
Frost & Sullivan sees both traditional and mobile CT increasing in use, with mobile increasing the number of participants in the market. Top manufacturers that offer a broad range of CTs will especially benefit, it says. Reimbursement approval from current CPT and European regulations are expected to push CT into the cardiac realm. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, in fact, recently performed the first cardiac scan with a new photon-counting detector CT
. With it, providers were able to see clear images of the heart and blood vessels, and could even capture a small fraction of one heartbeat by "freezing" the motion.
And while low-end CT has achieved its maximum penetration potential in developed economies, demand for them still exists in developing economies, according to Srinivasan. "Emerging countries in Eastern Europe, South Africa, LATAM and tier III cities in India and Indonesia will continue to influence the purchase of 6- or 8-slice CT scanners. The potential for single and dual slice scanners will be obsolete or negligible in the region."
Additional clinical applications are expected to emerge in vascular, oncology and breast cancer imaging, according to Frost & Sullivan.