Mobile imaging services comprise a group of devices and technologies that allow diagnostic imaging to be conducted in non-hospital settings and the results sent to physicians. This is especially convenient in situations where the patient is suffering from disorders that restrain their movement, or the patient is in a remote area and can’t physically visit the hospital. The growing demand for home healthcare solutions is thus favorable for the mobile imaging services market. Hospitals themselves are also exhibiting increasing demand for mobile imaging services, as they present a cost-effective alternative over conventional fixed medical imaging equipment.
According to Transparency Market Research, the global mobile imaging services market was valued at US$10.7 bn in 2013. Exhibiting a steady 3.2% CAGR from 2014 to 2020, the market is expected to rise to a valuation of US$13.3 bn.
How important will hospitals be to the mobile imaging services market in the coming years?
Despite their obvious utility in healthcare dispensation to remote areas or in home-based healthcare settings, the primary driver for the demand for mobile imaging services is their increasing use in hospitals. While stationary imaging equipment has been the norm in hospitals for a long time, the impending obsolescence of many imaging devices in the face of consistent technological advancement has necessitated the use of cost-effective modern alternatives such as mobile imaging.
Small hospitals are the key end users of mobile imaging services. These hospitals need to keep in touch with the contemporaneous technological scenario, but the relatively low volume of patients doesn’t allow them to install advanced stationary equipment on a mass scale. In this situation, using outsourced mobile imaging services becomes a vital solution for hospitals operating in a certain budget range. This is the way the mobile imaging services market has shaped up in North America and Europe. The increasing sophistication of teleradiology technologies is likely to ensure it remains this way in the coming years.
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What is the key trend in the global mobile imaging services market?
The launch of mobile imaging units by major hospitals is a key trend in the global mobile imaging services market. While it has increased the demand for mobile imaging equipment, the high transportation costs and frequent maintenance requirements may put many hospitals off the idea of establishing their own mobile imaging unit. The increasing ease of incorporating teleradiology solutions is also likely to count against the mobile imaging services market, especially with smaller hospitals.
The increasing global geriatric population has led to the development of imaging solutions that don’t require the patients to be physically present in the hospital, and home care solutions are already becoming common in North America and Western Europe, which are virtually the only markets for mobile imaging services at present. This is another key driver for the global mobile imaging services market.