Radionuclide scan is an imaging procedure used to detect cancerous tissues in human body. In this technique, the physician injects a radionuclide tracer into the patient’s vein or administer the tracer orally. The tracer travels through the blood stream to the organ under diagnosis, for example, thyroid, bone, or heart. Gamma rays are emitted from the tracer and detected by a gamma camera or radionuclide scanner.
The body parts under potential disorder send discrete gamma rays and show a bright spot on the scan. Thus, radionuclide scan is useful in detecting if an organ (bone, brain, heart, etc.) is affected with cancerous tissues. Different types of tracers are applied for different organs.
The radionuclide scanner market is driven by factors such as increase in incidences of cancer, rise in preference of non-minimally invasive diagnosis procedures of cancer, high success rate of radionuclide scan procedure in detection of cancer, upsurge in adoption and acceptance of radionuclide scan procedure in the developed world, and medical re-imbursement for diagnosis of cancer. However, the radionuclide scanner market is anticipated to face challenges such as high level of competition among existing players, market penetration by companies from China, high cost of procedures, and inaccessibility of equipment in the developing countries. Technological advancements and technology transfer are projected to open up opportunities of growth to the global radionuclide scanner market.
Radionuclide scanner includes collimator, NaI (sodium iodide) crystal, photomultiplier tube (PMT), pre-amplifier, pulse-height analyzer, display system, and gantry. When gamma rays are emitted from human body, it fall on the collimator (lead plate).
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The main work of the collimator is to direct the gamma rays to the NaI crystal. Further, the NaI crystal converts gamma rays into photon energies. Photon energies are further converted into electronic energies through the intervention of photomultiplier tube. As the strength of the emitted electronic energies is low, the signal strength is augmented through pre-amplifier. The key purpose of a pulse-height analyzer is to measure the amplitude of electronic energies. The display system creates useful anatomical images on the basis of these amplitudes. Gantry contains aforementioned components (collimator, NaI crystal, PMT, pre-amplifier, pulse-height analyzer) of the radionuclide scanner and rotates according to the scanning positions of the patient. In terms of component, the global radionuclide scanner market can be segmented into collimator, NaI crystal, PMT, pre-amplifier, pulse-height analyzer, display system, and gantry. Based on application, the global radionuclide scanner market can be differentiated into bone scan, brain scan, lung scan, thyroid scan, kidney scan, and others. By end-user, the global radionuclide scanner market can be classified into hospitals, independent clinics, and others (academic institutes).
Geographically, the global radionuclide scanner market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. According to a study published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine in 2011, nuclear medicine procedures increased from 14 million in 1999 to 20 million in 2005 in the U.S., registering a growth of 14% during the aforementioned periods. In terms of revenue, North America and Europe held significant positions in the global radionuclide scanner market owing to increase in cases of cancer, high number of radionuclide medicine procedure, high-quality instruments, affordable procedural costs, and above all, developed medical industry. Additionally, the radionuclide scanner market in Asia Pacific is expected to accumulate significant revenues in 2016, however, it is projected to exhibit significant growth during the forecast period due to technological advancements and the large pool of patients suffering from different types of cancers. The radionuclide scanner market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is expected to display moderate growth during the forecast period.
Notable players in the radionuclide scanner market are GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthineers, Philips Healthcare, Dioline Corporation, Varinak, DDD Diagnostic, MiE, etc.