By Matthew Watson
Against the turbulent backdrop of high inflation and sporadic economic recovery, the global CT market’s growth was more subdued in 2022 than in the mid-pandemic market of the previous year.
Despite this, total sales of CT equipment surpassed $6 billion in 2022, and recent projections from Signify Research give cause for optimism over our 5-year forecast period and beyond. Burgeoning appetite for modern diagnostic imaging capabilities in emerging markets, the fundamental need for advanced procedures to deliver clinical precision in mature markets, and advancements in AI reconstruction and workflow optimisation tools will propel an estimated global revenue CAGR of 6.7% between 2022 and 2027.
The medium-term outlook has its blemishes, however. Workforce shortages and dampened economic conditions could disrupt replacement cycles in some significant regional markets. In this respect, the Russian market’s war-induced volatility represents perhaps the most egregious example. Ongoing trading tensions between China and the U.S. also pose considerable risks for medical device supply chains, including CT.
AI-empowered workflows primed to take off
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Refining diagnostic accuracy, workflow and operational efficiency, and quality of care stand out as the most significant priorities for diagnostic imaging facilities in 2023. Hence, strains such as the limited availability of trained technicians and tightening budgets, made particularly stark by the pandemic, have accelerated the clinical adoption of deep-learning AI tools to augment workflow efficiency. Such augmented workflows improve patient throughput and diagnostic confidence by automating protocoling and promoting image consistency. The focal point of AI commercialisation continues to be facilitating enhanced levels of care in facilities where a lack of resources compromises care quality.
On the image reconstruction front, deep-learning algorithms can facilitate reduced radiation exposure and the ability to recover images in the event of scanning errors, promising to be a notable differentiator between OEM’s solutions in the future. In a move that may have set the industry standard, GE HealthCare’s TrueFidelity software is being increasingly deployed as part of its smart subscription model, emphasising consistent upgrades across a fleet of CT systems.