The mobile imaging services market has been around for over two decades, but is still restricted to the U.S. and the European markets. Over the past few years, the market has however gained pace due to an increase in the number of procedures performed using mobile imaging services. This surge in the number of mobile imaging services is attributed to the aging population and rise in the prevalence of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, renal disorders, neurological disorders, and cancer. Furthermore, as the life of fixed imaging equipment nears obsolescence, hospitals seek cost-effective alternatives such as mobile imaging services. The global mobile imaging services market was valued at USD 10,698.0 million in 2013 and is expected to reach USD 13,356.5 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 3.2% during the forecast period 2014 to 2020.
The global mobile imaging services market is broadly categorized into service type, end-users and geography. X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, PET/CT, bone densitometry and mammography altogether comprised the services segment. The MRI segment constituted the largest share in the global mobile imaging services market and is expected to witness fastest growth amongst all the segments at CAGR of 3.5% during the forecast period 2014 to 2020. The freedom to stay at home and eliminate the long waiting time at the hospitals, clinics or in case of emergency are the prime reasons which explain the emergence of mobile imaging services market in the overall diagnostic imaging market. End-users for this market include hospitals and private clinics, home healthcare service providers, rehabilitation centers, geriatric care and hospice agencies, sports organizations and others such as military institutions and prisons.
Currently, small hospitals account for a large share of the overall mobile imaging services market. Although these hospitals are in need of scanning machines, the volume of patients does not justify investment cost. Hence, these healthcare providers prefer outsourcing the mobile imaging services and this scenario is observed to be consistent in North America and Europe. The mobile imaging services market is in its growth phase in North America and in the late introductory phase in Europe. In developing countries of Asia, and rest of the world, majority of mobile imaging services are performed by non-profit organization.
In 2013, North America accounted for the largest market share contributing to major proportion of the global market followed by Europe region. These two regions are expected to maintain their leading positions in the global market during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020. The global mobile imaging services market in North America was valued at USD 10,143.6 million in 2013 and is expected to reach USD 12,673.2 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 3.2% during the forecast period 2014 to 2020. Profit margins for mobile imaging services providers are comparatively higher in the U.S., owing to higher procedure volume. Large numbers of players offer mammography scanning across the globe as part of a community service and are not-for-profit organizations, thus generating lesser revenue. The severe lack of safe and suitable imaging services in several areas of developing countries such as Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America has been attributed to the unavailability or non-functioning of imaging systems. Furthermore, lack of awareness, resources, and qualified staff are other major challenges being faced in developing countries.