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Technology Trends in Cardiac Imaging : Toward web-based faster and accurate diagnosis

  • December 2014
  • 64 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2590892


Table of Contents

Scope of Research

A variety of cardiac diagnostic and imaging tests are used to help treat patients with cardiac and cardiovascular diseases. Some of the most popular imaging procedures include transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), and cardiac computed tomography (CCT). Though at times a combination of imaging tools are recommended to accurately diagnose the condition, it has been observed that some modalities are more preferred over others. For example, TTE is the imaging test used for the evaluation of patients with heart failures (HF) given the fact that it is widely available and is a reliable tool for assessing cardiac structure and function. Recent developments in myocardial three-dimensional (3D) TTE along with echo contrast agents have led to superior diagnostic imaging thereby yielding high quality prognostic information in TTE. Another useful modality, SPECT imaging, is commonly used to detect ischemia as well as patient viability with heart failure.

Again, it has been observed that PET offers higher diagnostic accuracy for both the conditions. CMR provides high-quality information on cardiac structure and function and allows the characterization of myocardial tissue. The aim of this research service on Technology Trends in Cardiac Imaging is to thoroughly assess and analyze the diagnostic cardiac imaging technology trends and provide strategic recommendations for the stakeholders. Cardiac imaging include coronary catheterization, echocardiogram, and Intravascular ultrasound, whereas cardiovascular imaging refers to imaging of the vascular associated with the heart. For the study, the terms cardiac imaging and cardiovascular imaging have been used synonymously and cover diagnostic modalities for cardiac imaging and do not include analysis of cardiac monitoring technologies. Technical Insights, Frost & Sullivan analysis indicates that there has been an adoption shift for cardiac imaging modalities.

While, the North American and European markets are mostly saturated, the largest adoption of the modality is taking place in emerging economies like China, India, Russia, and Brazil. Demographics is also playing a key role in the market as an aging population is the main driver for adoption of the technologies. The rising incidence of cardiovascular diseases is expanding the patient pool, while resulting in increasing demand for modalities that enable better diagnoses. At the same time, cardiac imaging OEMs need to focus on innovative modalities that enable faster and accurate diagnosis.

In brief, the research service provides:

- A detailed description of the global technology trends in the cardiac imaging sector with emphasis on technology innovations
- Description of the different types of emerging technologies and their application impact
- An assessment and analysis of different cardiac imaging technologies
- A list of key patents that gives an insight into notable activities and global participants and a detailed list of key contacts in the field, including names, titles, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail IDs.

Key Findings

The North American and Western European countries are mostly saturated in terms of technology adoption with the USA showing a decline in demand for new installations. Developing regions, such as China, India, and Latin America are experiencing increased adoption in cardiac imaging solutions especially in interventional cardiology. This is primarily driven by an increase in per capita income of individuals, availability of healthcare insurance and an increasing incidence of cardiac diseases.
Changing lifestyles, hectic day-to-day activities and unhealthy eating habits have been on the constant rise over the last decade, directly impacting the health, especially cardiac health of every individual. These trends are prevalent, though in varied proportion, across the entire world population. It has been observed that developed nations have the highest incidence of cardiovascular diseases and the trends is slowly picking up in developing nations.
The main issue between different cardiac imaging modalities such as cardiac echo, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear (SPECT and PET) and invasive angiography is that each has its set of strengths and weaknesses. When one modality falls to provide adequate diagnostic information, another is used to add diagnostic information, but it also adds time and cost.
With countries recovering from the economic recession, governments across the globe, especially in developed nations are putting into practice cost cutting measures and bundling healthcare payments. In this scenario, the best solution for cardiac imaging will be a one-stop center cardiac imaging facility that will combine majority of the key features of each of the imaging modalities.
The future of cardiac imaging lies in multimodality imaging, with the capability to provide enhanced characterization of disease states. SPECT and PET imaging of myocardial metabolism and cardiac neuronal imaging has already shown great potential for identifying high-risk patients with coronary heart disease and cardiomyopathy. Clinicians are also looking at a greater use of positron emission tomography (PET) that can be used for quantitative assessment of blood flow as well as for molecular imaging of atherosclerotic plaques and myocardial disease states.

Need for Cardiac Imaging

•Cardiac or cardiovascular imaging refers to a combination of imaging technologies that can be used to obtain images related to the structure and function of the heart.
•Cardiac imaging has become essential for achieving a better understanding of cardiovascular diseases. Due to the evolution of new technologies and incremental innovation of existing technologies, the role of cardiac imaging has extended into the functional and hemodynamic diagnosis of multiple physiological processes.
•In developed nations, coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common heart ailment requiring hospitalization. The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases is expected to increase in the coming years. The present and future challenge for cardiac imaging is to be able to detect CVD and prevent the disease or reduce its impact on human health.

Market and Technology Trends

•The cardiovascular imaging field has experienced marked growth and technology advancement in the past several decades. In the future, it is expected that multimodality imaging will provide enhanced characterization of heart disease states apart from diagnostic imaging. The present and future trends in cardiovascular imaging indicate that cardiac imaging will focus more on improving early diagnosis of cardiac diseases, so as to enable quick clinical decision and early treatment. Broadly, cardiac imaging can be categorized into invasive and non-invasive cardiac imaging.
•While cardiac angiography is the most common method for assessment of cardiac diseases, the invasive nature of the method has lead to the popularization of non-invasive imaging methods such as cardiac MRI, CT imaging, and so on.
•Research activities have indicated that SPECT and PET imaging of myocardial metabolism and cardiac neuronal imaging have great potential for identifying high-risk patients with coronary heart disease. Further progress is expected to occur in computed tomography imaging of the heart and coronary arteries and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, which will include quantitative estimates of coronary blood flow, coronary and peripheral vessel plaque characterization, and detection of myocardial cellular dysfunction.
•Fusion imaging, in which two disparate image data sets are merged into one functional image, will slowly become popular in this field. Major breakthroughs in cardiac imaging will depend on discoveries in basic research, further refinement of instrumentation and software for image processing and analysis, and outcomes research demonstrating the worth of imaging technologies in reducing cardiovascular death and morbidity.

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