The precision medical imaging market is set to grow from $120 million to $8 billion over the coming decade, according to analysts at Frost & Sullivan.
Frost & Sullivan's forecast is built on a belief that advances such as image-based 3D printing will fuel the broader move toward personalized care, posing the market for explosive growth.
The report notes the divergent approaches of leading players such as GE Healthcare, Philips and Siemens Healthineers, which have all identified opportunities but responded in their own ways.
Genomics has provided the early impetus for the move toward more targeted treatments that are a better match for each individual. However, as imaging remains a key diagnostic tool many observers expect it to play a growing role in the processes physicians use to establish precisely which approach will best serve each patient.
This precision imaging concept covers a broad range of applications, from the molecular imaging of theranostic radiotracers to the use of scans to create custom, 3D-printed implants. Frost & Sullivan foresees precision medical imaging affecting a large swath of healthcare.
"Precision medical imaging has tremendous potential to improve all aspects of the care continuum," Siddharth Saha, VP of research, transformational health at Frost & Sullivan, said in a statement. "AI-enriched imaging equipment will help adapt and personalize the imaging protocols and procedures while precise radiomic and phenomic datasets from the given clinical context will enable deep learning, thereby reinforcing medical imaging's contribution to precision medicine."
Many of these technologies and imaging applications are in their infancy but Frost & Sullivan thinks they will advance quickly. As of 2017, Frost & Sullivan valued the precision medical imaging market at $120 million. By 2027, the analysts think the market will have mushroomed to an $8 billion valuation.
The forecast for explosive growth is underpinned by a belief that multiple opportunities fall under the umbrella of precision medical imaging. In addition to the aforementioned applications, Frost & Sullivan picked out evidence-based study ordering, adaptive radiation therapy, personalized image acquisition protocols and other areas as offering significant opportunities for growth.
Leading imaging companies have begun to target some of these opportunities but Frost & Sullivan found "their respective approaches and proactive levels vary wildly." The analysts found Siemens has "fully embraced the precision trend," but that at Philips just "a few precision hot spots have been forming, notably in image-guided therapies and oncology informatics."