by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | March 02, 2021
The global MR imaging market is poised to take home $4.52 billion in revenue in 2024, according to a Frost & Sullivan report.
Point-of-care, pediatric, dry-magnet and compact MR are among the factors driving this growth, along with fusion imaging and an expected increase in sales of portable MR. Growing public-private partnerships and an increase in near-replacement time in public domains are also expected to increase MR system installations.
"Enhanced image acquisition and reconstruction techniques, and speed of acquisition have led to clinical benefits in interventional imaging, vascular, abdomen, oncology and cardiac," Poornima Srinivasan, industry analyst for medical imaging, healthcare and life sciences at Frost & Sullivan, told HCB News. "Portable or point-of-care MR is a game-changing technology that is expected to influence and make scanning accessible to patients in ER, ICU, and other critical-care units across the location of care."
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He adds that the MR segment is expected to continue to shrink with the wider adoption of 1.5T and 3T MR systems that incorporate increased field of view and radiofrequency (RF) channels, and enhanced signal-to-noise ratio for optimized patient throughput. The current MR market earned $3.99 billion revenue-wise in 2019 and is predicted to have a compound annual growth rate of 2.5% by 2024. COVID-19, however, has slowed the market down, and it is likely to not reach pre-COVID levels until 2023.
Growth is slated to be diverse among different regions. For North America, a 3%-4% boost in MR procedural volume over the past three years has been seen in the U.S. and 0.9% growth has been seen in Canada. Western Europe has seen moderate growth in 1.5T and 3T MR for brain, MSK, and oncology imaging, with public hospitals accounting for 70% of traditional imaging procedures, and private and imaging centers performing 80% of emerging applications.
An estimated 80% of MR systems will be 1.5T in Eastern Europe by 2024, primarily driven by the private sector; while growth in the Asia Pacific will be boosted by new 3T sales in Japan and Southeast Asia and 1.5T sales in India and China. Public-private partnerships and local manufacturing by original equipment manufacturers will drive an uptake of 1.5T scanners by 2024 in Latin America. Private hospital expansions and provisions of decentralized services for exams, diagnoses and cancer-specific treatments will also increase demand for MR.
Among the areas where MR is expected to be in high demand are pediatrics for lung and cranial bone imaging; oncology through the use of MR elastography for diagnosing patients with large brain tumors; and neurology for diseases like Alzheimer's. High-field and extremity MR will also contribute to market revenue, along with deep learning applications for intracranial hemorrhage and liver lesion classification; and gadolinium-based contrast agent in MR imaging for thyroid nodule detection.
"In terms of adoption, countries with low MR penetration will continue to evolve toward expanding their MR with 1.5T and replacement with high-field MR systems in developed economies," said Srinivasan.
Demand for technologies that improve workflow, portability and facilitate various functions are driving the MR market, which, according to Frost & Sullivan, is diversifying due to momentum in privatization.