Western Europe Teleradiology Market to Reach US$1.4 bn by 2023, X-ray Teleradiology to Remain Largest Segment by Modality

Teleradiology is a comprehensive part of telehealth services. Teleradiology refers to electronic transmission of radiology images between two locations via technology for emergency services or second opinion. This service bridges the gap between the imbalance of demand and supply of expert radiologists and diagnostic services. Initially, the image transfer process was tedious, time consuming, and provided unreliable image clarity and quality. Currently, teleradiology shows the rapid progression in image processing and transmission tools and technologies. Hence, radiology experts believe that the teleradiology market will provide lucrative business opportunities in the near future.

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Increasing number of procedures, high awareness as it is a vintage technique, and low cost as compared to other modalities are the key drivers of the X-ray teleradiology segment. However, computed tomography teleradiology is considered the most lucrative segment of the teleradiology market in Western Europe. Ability of computed tomography to provide 3-D images of body parts such as brain, lungs, abdomen and heart; accuracy in diagnosis, and consistent development in the technology are likely to make it the most lucrative segment of the teleradiology market in Western Europe during the forecast period from 2015 to 2023.

However, complex and in-depth images of computed tomography are difficult to interpret, and hence need an expert radiologist. Therefore, demand for teleradiology is anticipated to increase rapidly during the forecast period. Ultrasound teleradiology accounted for the second largest share of the teleradiology market in 2014, as it is a first-line modality in the diagnosis of several abdominal disorders and during pregnancy. Additionally, low cost and absence of ionizing radiation makes it a more preferred modality to ultrasound. However, complexity of 3-D and 4-D images need experienced radiologists. This further increases the scope of teleradiology. Major countries in Western Europe such as the U.K., Germany, and France are facing the problem of lack of expert radiologists.

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Western Europe Teleradiology Market to Reach US$1.4 bn by 2023, X-ray Teleradiology to Remain Largest Segment by Modality

The teleradiology market in Western Europe has been segmented based on modality. X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear imaging are major types of teleradiology services provided in Western Europe. The X-ray teleradiology segment held the largest share of the market in 2014 and is likely to maintain its leadership position during forecast period from 2014 to 2023.

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Increasing number of procedures, high awareness as it is a vintage technique, and low cost as compared to other modalities are the key drivers of the X-ray teleradiology segment. However, computed tomography teleradiology is considered the most lucrative segment of the teleradiology market in Western Europe. Ability of computed tomography to provide 3-D images of body parts such as brain, lungs, abdomen and heart; accuracy in diagnosis, and consistent development in the technology are likely to make it the most lucrative segment of the teleradiology market in Western Europe during the forecast period from 2015 to 2023.

However, complex and in-depth images of computed tomography are difficult to interpret, and hence need an expert radiologist. Therefore, demand for teleradiology is anticipated to increase rapidly during the forecast period. Ultrasound teleradiology accounted for the second largest share of the teleradiology market in 2014, as it is a first-line modality in the diagnosis of several abdominal disorders and during pregnancy. Additionally, low cost and absence of ionizing radiation makes it a more preferred modality to ultrasound. However, complexity of 3-D and 4-D images need experienced radiologists. This further increases the scope of teleradiology. Major countries in Western Europe such as the U.K., Germany, and France are facing the problem of lack of expert radiologists.

This increases demand for teleradiology for emergency cases or for second opinion. Additionally, people prefer to opt for second opinion from expert radiologists. However, lack of advanced image transfer technology in rural areas, complex cross-border regulations, high initial investment, and lingual differences that lead to confusion could restrict the growth of the teleradiology market in Western Europe during the forecast period 2015 to 2023. The nuclear imaging segment has witnessed sluggish growth as compared to other modalities due to requirement of sophisticated technology and adverse effects of radiation and radioactive substances. However, widespread use of positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanners for cancer detection and increasing use of multimodality imaging could propel the nuclear imaging market in Western Europe during the forecast period. The magnetic resonance imaging segment has witnessed moderate growth owing to high precision in diagnosis, rising awareness in economically backward areas, and increasing brain related disorder and injuries. Major factors restraining the magnetic resonance imaging segment are large investment and long waiting list due to unavailability of sophisticated magnetic resonance imaging instruments.

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