Molecular imaging is a growing biomedical research discipline that focuses on capturing images of molecules of medical interest within intact living subjects. The field of molecular imaging was developed from radiopharmacology in response to the demand for a better understanding of basic biochemical pathways within organisms in a non-invasive manner. The other conventional methods for diagnostic imaging such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound, provide images of physical structure, molecular imaging which allows practitioners to observe the workings of the body and analyze its chemical and biological processes. However, molecular imaging provides practitioners with unique insights into the human body, allowing them to personalise patient therapy. It can provide information that other imaging technologies cannot provide often before any symptoms or abnormalities can be detected with other diagnostic tests. Other imaging technologies would employ more invasive procedures such as biopsy or surgery to diagnose the disease in its early stages or pinpoint the exact location of a tumour. Molecular imaging studies assist practitioners in determining the extent or severity of a disease, as well as locating its spread throughout the body, assessing the body's reaction to specific therapies and picking the most effective solution based on the patient's unique biologic features and the molecular qualities of a tumour or other condition.
As a result, molecular imaging plays a critical role in earlier detection, precise diagnosis, and drug development and discovery. This technology has revolutionized the medical world and has become crucial for providing high-quality and personalized health care. However, high research and development costs, as well as constant improvement and innovation in molecular imaging technologies, are major constraints for the molecular imaging market.
The Global Concern Over Chronic Diseases Is Growing, and Medical Imaging Modalities Play a Critical Role in the Correct Identification of Chronic Diseases.
The ageing population, as well as societal behaviour changes, are all leading to an increase in frequent and costly long-term health concerns. Cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes account for the majority of chronic illness fatalities. The increasing ageing population suffering from end-stage disease, as well as the rising prevalence of cancer and related disorders, is expected to boost demand for molecular imaging. According to GLOBOCAN, about 19.3 million new cases of cancer were recorded globally in 2020, it is estimated to rise to 30.2 million by 2040. The population growth is expected to be greatest in developing countries. New modalities for therapy and diagnoses provide precise and early detection of diseases which minimizes the cost of treating these diseases. With the increase in their disposable income, people are expected to become capable enough to have access to imaging procedures for the early detection of diseases.
Global Technological Advances in the Healthcare Sector Will Boost the Market Over the Projected Period.
The scientific advancements occurring at an exponential rate are assisting the expansion of the market. Imaging technology developments have always posed a challenge to practitioners in terms of maximising their inpatient treatment. In recent years, scientists, researchers, and technologists have been able to implement systems in clinical practice that integrate two or more separate diagnostic imaging modalities. Five imaging modalities available for molecular imaging are: X-ray computed tomography imaging (CT), optical imaging (OI), radionuclide imaging (including PET and SPECT), ultrasound imaging (US), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Favourable Government Regulations for Healthcare Will Be a Principal to the Growth of the Market During the Forecast Period.
Back In 2016 in US, for example, the AMIPA (American Medical Isotope Production Act) and the DOE/NNSA (Department of Energy) established a Uranium Lease and Take-Back (ULTB) programme. The DOE/NNSA makes LEU (Low Enriched Uranium) accessible through leasing contracts for the irradiation and manufacture of Mo99 for medicinal purposes under this initiative. The AMIPA not only supports local Mo-99 production but also aspires to replace the role of HEU (High Enriched Uranium) in the manufacture of medicinal radioactive isotopes.
Furthermore, Canada is one of the major producers of Technetium-99m. With the adoption of Tc-99m in radiopharmaceuticals, the Canadian market is projected to develop exponentially. However, the field of nuclear imaging is currently experiencing a scarcity of the radioisotope Tc99m (technetium 99), which will have an influence on the majority of diagnostic scans performed in nuclear medicine clinics.
COVID-19 Caused a Slight Decline in the Global Molecular Imaging Market.
This impact was mostly mainly due to the fact that imaging techniques were also used for preventative purposes throughout this time period. When possible, several institutions chose to keep their doors open in order to continue treating people who required scans for various medical reasons, such as cancer patients. Others were able to outsource a portion of their duties to off-site imaging agencies in order to help patients who were not authorised to undergo imaging treatments during the crisis. Off-site imaging businesses did contribute to preparing for a potential spike in patients by keeping imaging procedures flowing. However, not every institution offered this option, and imaging procedures fell short of expectations and performed poorly when compared to one year before. During the height of the pandemic, the availability of mobile and portable imaging technologies aided in expanding imaging options for patients both within and outside of healthcare institutions. Carestream Health increased the production of its mobile diagnostic imaging equipment in April 2020 in response to the need for critical care during the COVID-19 crisis. Carestream's DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray System and DRX-Revolution Nano Mobile X-ray System bring the X-ray exam to the patient's bedside, providing high-quality digital radiography images in real-time to healthcare practitioners to aid in patient diagnosis. This was done to assist in minimising the spread of COVID-19 and to help diagnose it faster and simpler in remote areas put up around the country.
Now that the COVID-19 crisis has passed in the majority of states, hospitals are restoring general imaging services and noticing an upsurge in the number of individuals who need scans. As hospitals and imaging facilities try to figure out this "new normal," and the world has gradually begun to open up from the past, the market is likely to grow even more in the future years.