Digital Diagnostics: Characteristics, Devices, Venues, Etc.

Anything Market – December 9th, 2013

Medical team imageWhat’s happening lately with digital diagnostics: Devices, equipment, records, etc.? New uses are being explored by health care providers in the “Digital Medicine” departments at Scripps and presenters at the 2013 mHealth Summit. One unexpected application is use of digital counters and information delivery systems in emergency departments to reduce tension for patients awaiting treatment. Another is development of a diagnostic pill for detecting cancer (Mount Sinai Medical Center).

Imaging Systems

At the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting in Chicago this month, presenters emphasized the importance of patient-centered care. Digital diagnostics and data technologies may help drive the gathering and storing of information. While applications and devices make headlines, much of the real-world implementation of digital solutions is happening in imaging, patient record, and other systems.

According to Global Industry Analysts Inc., the world markets for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) are each forecast to generate approximately $6.0 billion by 2018. A second source, ReportsnReports, published a slightly lower estimate of $5.24 billion for MRI systems by 2018.[1]

Wearable Technologies

To generate annual revenues in the multi-billion range, wearable technologies will need to address “authentic utility” to solve real-world problems. That’s the position taken in a recent VentureBeat article that examines the current market and what it could become. Several core principles were identified as significant factors for strong revenue growth, such as identifying and solving specific human problems. Emphasizing enhancement of human capabilities is another. The best technologies address existing behavior rather than requiring adapting to new ones. Automation of elements that humans don’t like doing is also important.

What’s the upside? A 2012 estimate from IMS Research projected a $6.0 billion global market for wearable technology by 2016. Demand is currently driven by smart phone and sports applications, downloads, and devices from Fitbit, Nike, and other fitness industry competitors. Fast future growth may be driven by Apple and Google. For comparison, Jupiter Research expects the global wearable device market to increase from $800.0 million in 2013 to $1.5 billion by 2014. [3] As noted above, the IMS global wearable valuation is in the same range as 2018 forecasts for the MRI and PACS markets (individually), imaging technologies that have been in use for decades. Fitness is leading the way for digital diagnostics  in wearable devices.

Copyright © 2013 / Feedback Research Services.

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[1]   “Global Markets for MRI, PACS to Top $6.0 Billion by 2018,” , November 30, 2013.
[2]  “Design Principles at the Heart of Wearable Technology,”, December 2, 2013.
[3]  “Wearable Technology Market to Exceed $6 Billion by 2016,”, August 2012.
[4]  “Wearable Device Market to Reach $1.5B by 2014,”, November 5, 2012.