Global Trends in Medical Imaging in 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes read
Influences include an aging population, Big Data, and preventive healthcare.
What are the key forces that will shape medical imaging in 2022? Nikhel Goel of Carestream walks us through the impact of changing demographics, big data, and recent innovations in medical imaging in this interview with ET Health World.
Q: To begin with, tell us how the increasing demand for early-stage diagnosis of chronic disease and the rise in aging demographics is expected to boost the demand for diagnostic imaging across the globe?
A: Worldwide early diagnosis is a key to successful treatment and return to wellness across most chronic disease states. As awareness of early-stage diagnosis increases, diagnostic imaging will grow higher in volume across X-ray, CT, and MR modalities. The rise in aging demographics will also mean higher demand for outpatient diagnostic imaging services.
Q: What are the major factors that will drive the radiology segment post-COVID, particularly in the chest imaging space?
A: HRCT Chest (High Resolution Computed Tomography) played a pivotal role in COVID detection and saw a large surge, especially in the second wave in India. As normalcy returns and patients return to OPD’s, normal routine examinations will be restored to pre-COVID levels. I believe increasing awareness of preventive healthcare and early-stage diagnosis of related chronic diseases will continue to drive demand for chest imaging.
Q: Do you think radiology is entering into a new age, as big data medical imaging is on the rise? And how will it impact the medical imaging segment?
A: The awareness of big data and its usage has been rising and it surely has a big role to play in the medical imaging segment. However, to achieve scale, there is greater clarity needed around Patient Privacy and data integration across the care pathway. I believe policy initiatives through agencies like the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), which aims to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of India, can play a big role in creating the right ecosystem for Big Data.
Q: Can you name three other trends in medical imaging to look out for in 2022 in radiology?
A: In my view, three trends to look out for in radiology for 2022 would be enhanced role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medical image diagnosis by aiding radiologists to spot anomalies in human tissues; improving the patient experience, which will include the usage of bedside imaging and the growth of home care and diagnosis; and the growth of diagnostic wearable devices.
Q: What new imaging solutions has Carestream introduced recently?
A: We introduced several important solutions in 2021. First, we are applying AI (Artificial Intelligence) to add value across the entire imaging chain—from capture to diagnosis with AI-driven innovations such as Smart Noise Cancellation and Smart DR Workflow.
We added a new floor-mount option for the DRX-Compass X-ray Room System.
This configuration offers smaller facilities or sites with tighter budgets the ability to use the DRX-Compass and put Carestream’s exceptional image capture and processing to work. Other important solutions that enable our end users to scale the quality and affordability barrier are our DR Retrofit Solutions and our affordable Focus Detectors.
Lastly, I want to mention that we introduced our first glass-free detector. The Lux 35 Detector is the lightest detector in our portfolio – so it’s easier to carry and position, helping minimize technologist muscle strain and fatigue.
Q: In most developed nations, teleradiology is seen as important to improve radiology throughput. In India, the primary problem that teleradiology solves is access. Will you be looking into filling this gap?
A: Teleradiology will certainly grow in India and help reduce the access challenge of the country. We believe our role is to ensure our product and solutions are suitable to this space with appropriate add-on features wherever required.
Q: How is the medical imaging industry undergoing a rapid change due to acceleration in innovation; and how is it impacting the new business models?
A: Medical imaging is innovating to meet the fundamental layered nature of the Indian market. There is demand for both value, mid-tier as well as premium offerings. The medical imaging industry is innovating by bringing in affordable product solutions as well as technological advancements in the country to help our clinicians solve complex ailments. The impact on business models is being seen in new Go to Market on service support, direct business with public hospitals, and working with financial institutions to drive end-user procurement wherever required.
Nikhel Goel is the General Manager of the India Cluster, Carestream.