Opportunities for Growth in the Imaging IT Market

Publication Date: 30/05/2024

Cranfield, UK, 30th May 2024 – The global imaging IT market grew by 5.5% in 2023 to exceed $5.5bn; positively, vendors also reported strong pipelines for all core imaging IT products. The short-term outlook is positively aided by the tail end of IT replacement cycles in the USA, offering the potential for competitive market disruption in 2024. Additionally, a strong performance in Canada driven by an uptick in provincial radiology IT deals in 2023.

Significant investment is also underway across Western Europe, but such opportunity must be tempered with the fact that the large-scale and bureaucratic nature of these tenders often leads to chronic implementation delays – creating a knock-on impact for revenue recognition. Momentum has also built across the Middle East in 2023, particularly in the UAE where focus on improving efficiency have driven digitalisation and adoption of AI. However, intensifying political instability across the region threatens to derail further investment. Additionally, markets such as Australia have seen a rise in state-wide deals spanning radiology as well as cardiology.

Despite the positive outlook, not all markets have fared as well; softening public investment as COVID related funds were cut back in Japan, combined with the softening of the Yen, has negatively impacted the near-term outlook for one of the top five largest imaging IT markets globally.

Total Imaging IT includes revenue from Radiology IT, Cardiology IT, Advanced Visualisation IT, Operational Workflow, and Business Intelligence Tools. This data is taken from our Imaging IT Core Report – World 2024, published May 2024.

Beyond short-term prospects, vendors must prioritise their actions in 2025 and beyond. Many markets are expected to experience a slowdown in 2025, with upcoming political elections in 2024 expected to influence on demand. It is also expected for a shift in where growth will occur; slowdowns are expected in mature markets such as the USA from 2025, with growth expected to shift to emerging markets such as India and the ASEAN region. Vendors must evaluate the ability of their product portfolios to meet demands in such markets and must assess the risk that often accompanies opportunities.

Several paths to growth

With interest rates looking set to cool in the coming year, combined with easing inflationary pressures, there is a limited “window” for IT vendors to capitalise on atypical growth. As provider aspirations align to enterprise-wide solutions, Imaging IT vendors must look to meet this requirement. This can be achieved by one of two approaches: focusing additional investment on nurturing R&D pipelines to cater to needs for “ologies”, catering to arising interest in digital pathology solutions (exemplified by a flurry of vendor partnerships in the space in the last 18 months e.g. Merative’s partnership with Indica Labs and AGFA HealthCare’s partnership with Corista); Alternatively, enterprise imaging vendors may choose to acquire specialist IT vendors to fill gaps in product portfolio. However, such moves may provide barriers in terms of lengthy product integration timelines.

A need for efficiency

As providers look to drive further productivity gains, IT solutions are evolving not only beyond single specialty but also to cater to streamlining workflow orchestration. As such the evolving requirements for providers present opportunities for growth for IT vendors. This can include tools to support “smart” study distribution, ensuring high priority cases are read by available radiologists, to back-office functions supporting patient follow-up, staffing and radiology service line intelligence.  However, these elements must be considered holistically, as increasing saturation and fierce cost competition threaten growth in mature markets.

Navigating the future

The risk and volatility of the Imaging IT market has also intensified more recently. Wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East have the potential to divert government expenditure away from healthcare, with countries across the world pledging military aid to Ukraine and Israel. With the added uncertainty of election outcomes in major markets, Signify Research expects the global imaging IT market to slow down overall in 2025-2026, with investment in North America and Western Europe cooling off as replacement cycles end and deals are locked in.

As investment in mature markets slows it is expected that growth will transition to emerging markets, with markets such as China, India and Latin America expected to spearhead growth. To capitalise fully on the new opportunity, vendors must understand the overall dynamic of emerging markets can differ significantly, not only to mature markets but also between each other. Except for some markets such as China, Middle East and Mexico, the influence of advancements such as AI and Enterprise Imaging (EI) is still very nascent with many markets such as India, Indonesia and South Africa still extremely price sensitive. To capitalise on new opportunities, vendors must re-evaluate their strategies and may choose to prioritise partnerships with local vendors or resellers.

More broadly, demonstrating technical competency to alleviate current pain-points for healthcare providers centred around addressing staff shortages and streamlining workflows, will be critical for success. Additionally, vendors must display roadmaps for future proofing IT systems, with cloud native platforms and enterprise imaging consolidation most pertinent.

Vendors must plan next steps

Vendors have reported robust growth in 2023 despite economic headwinds, indicating a resilient market that will continue to offer growth in the coming years. With several market shifts expected in the coming years, vendors must plan strategically to navigate rough waters ahead. For global vendors, the key to success in mature markets lies in delivering on long-term plans by continued product innovation and partnerships such as those observed at RSNA 2023. For those interested in exploiting opportunities in emerging markets, the high risk – high reward nature of business in these regions will create different dynamics for competition.

Related Research

Imaging IT Market Intelligence Service – 2024

The “Imaging IT Market Intelligence Service – 2024” is an annual subscription inclusive of five deliverables. The reports provides full coverage of the global informatics ecosystem and is comprised of detailed global market data and forecasts, alongside qualitative analysis to evaluate key strategic questions.

About The Author

Manav joined Signify Research in 2023 as part of the Medical Imaging team, with a focus on Imaging IT. He holds a First-class undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Warwick.

About the Medical Imaging / Imaging IT Team

Signify Research’s imaging IT service provides expert market intelligence and detailed insights across radiology IT, cardiology IT, and advanced visualisation IT, alongside operational workflow & business intelligence tools. Combining primary data collection and in-depth discussions with industry stakeholders, our thorough research approach yields credible quantitative and qualitative analysis, helping our customers make critical business decisions with confidence.

About Signify Research

Signify Research provides healthtech market intelligence powered by data that you can trust. We blend insights collected from in-depth interviews with technology vendors and healthcare professionals with sales data reported to us by leading vendors to provide a complete and balanced view of the market trends. Our coverage areas are Medical Imaging, Clinical Care, Digital Health, Diagnostic and Lifesciences and Healthcare IT.

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