Asia: Diagnostic Imaging Boom

Asia’s diagnostic imaging market is growing faster than that of any global region, as Asians — especially older ones — are spending more of their disposable income on healthcare.  According to a recent report released by Frost & Sullivan, more than 30 percent of the $24 billion global imaging market is now in Asia. The Asian market is expanding at a rate of 10 percent, compared to global growth of 7 percent.

Japan has the largest diagnostic imaging market in Asia, with a value of $4.5 billion, followed by China at $1.5 billion. Recent growth has come from X-ray and ultrasound, which are the largest market segments based on sales revenue. Other segments include computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine imaging, mammography equipment and MRI. Until recently, MRI had very low rates of penetration in most Asian countries. It is now the fastest growing segment of the diagnostic imaging market in Asia.

As Asians get older and wealthier, they are spending more on healthcare, including diagnostic imaging. Many elderly Asians with chronic conditions (such as heart disease, kidney disease and bone and joint disorders) have gone undiagnosed for years and sometimes decades. As per capita GDP goes up, more of them are able to spend their disposable income on disease diagnosis.

Additionally, government reimbursement for diagnostic imaging procedures has significantly increased across Asia. To take advantage of growing government funding, public and private hospitals from India to China are investing heavily in diagnostic imaging equipment.

Regional differences in demand are significant, with greater demand for nuclear medicine imaging and mammography equipment in developed markets like Japan and Korea. CT and ultrasound are growing quickly in China, India and Southeast Asia.