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European medical imaging market – teleradiology in the rise

Changing demographics and an ageing population are leading to a significant increase of chronic diseases and with it needed treatments. Especially in early-detection
of diseases radiology plays a central role. As consumers are becoming more aware of their own health and more demanding in the choice of treatment, the markets for diagnostic imaging and healthcare provider as a whole are growing significantly.

During the COVID-19 outbreak the global healthcare services market saw a decline of -6.3% from USD 7 trillion in 2019 to 6.7 trillion in 2020. The decline is based on the focus on emergency healthcare services, while elective procedures and services have largely been postponed. The market is expected to recover and continue the strong growth with a CAGR of 7% from 2021 to 2023. The global pandemic had a severe impact on radiology services. Outpatient practices felt the biggest impact, but all imaging volumes decreased. The subsegment will continue normal growth after an end of lockdown measures.

Advances in technology and the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the acceptance for digital healthcare, including teleradiology. The digital radiology and radiography is expected to be the fastest growing (24% CAGR) segmentin the radiology market. Digital radiology uses digital x-ray sensors instead of films to capture images since many years, which significantly improves time efficiency and image transfer capacity and reduces exposure to radiation, but the adaption of the digital technology proceeds slowly. Stationary digital imaging is mainly used in hospitals, while portable digital imaging solutions are used in bedside imaging and dental x-ray. A shortage in the radiology workforce is another strong driver for the teleradiology market. Medical institutions without dedicated radiology expert, especially in rural areas, use digital solutions to share medical images with radiology experts and receive consultation.

Workflow automation and Artificial Intelligence create massive growth potential for the medical imaging industry. Machine learning will optimise radiologists’ workflows and improve diagnosis. AI is often viewed with suspicion, but its ability to analyse large amounts of unstructured data, will lead to growing acceptance.

Another major trend within the radiology market is the consolidation of radiology service providers and laboratories. We see increased deal activities amongst stakeholders in the entire healthcare provider segment.

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European medical imaging market – teleradiology in the rise