The agonizing nature of medical imaging modalities such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scanning and positron emission tomography as well as their high prices, bulkiness and operational complexities have all intensified the demand for clinically-effective alternatives. Optical imaging technology, with its non-ionizing nature, accuracy and cost effectiveness, could be the alternative.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Advanced Techniques and Applications in Optical Imaging, finds innovations in sensors optics, electronics and IT, can greatly aid product and technology advances in optical imaging. Likewise, developments in the optical imaging space could positively influence a number of applications in non-medical industries.
Optical imaging’s applicability in non-medical industries will open up avenues for technology convergence and product innovations. In response to the surge in opportunities, technology developers must prepare to collaborate and design optical imaging products that leverage varied technologies.
Overall, the true potential of optical imaging platforms lies in its scalability. This feature has enabled optical imaging platforms to leave a mark on virtually every clinical and pre-clinical application.
“In the clinical space, optical imaging has established itself as the preeminent option for ophthalmic, gastrointestinal and dermatological imaging. Additionally, optical imaging has found use in other application areas such as cancer diagnostics, neural imaging and image-guided procedures,” said TechVision Senior Research Analyst Bhargav Rajan. “As for pre-clinical applications, optical imaging displays tremendous scope to penetrate small animal imaging and drug discovery, among other segments.”
Optical imaging technology providers could build on the modality’s strengths of adaptability and translatability to offer hybrid imaging solutions, wherein optical imaging is a complementary feature to other imaging modalities. However, in spite of optical imaging’s wide application potential, competition from radiological and nuclear imaging modalities has been the biggest hurdle to its adoption. With the emergence of low-radiation CT and X-ray systems as well as low-cost and point-of-care imaging devices, the optical imaging market can potentially lose some of its competitive advantage over time.
“For providers, the argument for optical imaging’s continued use over competing products is that the platform offers most of the benefits that radiological imaging provides such as high contrast, considerable depth of imaging and spatial resolution, but without its harmful side effects,” highlighted Rajan. “Furthermore, optical imaging employs the visible spectrum of light to extend a varied color palette, differentiating it from competing technologies.”
Ultimately, technology providers should be looking to position optical imaging as a competent and specialized imaging modality rather than a compromise to achieve cost-effectiveness. Additionally, they must also explore and commercialize emerging optical technologies such as tera-hertz imaging and diffuse optical imaging to cater to market needs.
Advanced Techniques and Applications in Optical Imaging, a part of the TechVision subscription, delves into the latest innovations in the field of optical imaging, showcasing the gamut of technologies, their capabilities, comparative strengths, weaknesses and applications. The study exclusively focuses on the medical imaging space.
Frost & Sullivan's global TechVision practice is focused on innovation, disruption and convergence and provides a variety of technology based alerts, newsletters and research services as well as growth consulting services. Its premier offering, the TechVision program, identifies and evaluates the most valuable emerging and disruptive technologies enabling products with near-term potential. A unique feature of the TechVision program is an annual selection of 50 technologies that can generate convergence scenarios, possibly disrupt the innovation landscape, and drive transformational growth.
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