Some of the biggest advances will be seen in medical imaging workflow and artificial intelligence (AI) tools will benefit the technician as well as the radiologist, but will not be sold on the basis of their technology. These are among the top 10 predictions for medical imaging in 2022 published by Signify Research (Bedfordshire, UK), an independent supplier of market intelligence and consultancy to the global healthcare technology industry.
According to Signify, supply chain management will be crucial and disruptions in supply chain will impact all vendors in 2022. Amidst the scenario where manufacturing hurdles prevent vendors from translating their overflowing order books into revenue, supply chain management will be among the biggest differentiators of 2022. Signify also expects the democratization of medical imaging to be accelerated by larger vendors. So far, young upstart vendors have led medical imaging on its journey out of traditional imaging settings. However, in 2022, larger vendors will respond in force, accelerating the democratization of imaging.
Additionally, vendors and providers are expected to focus on advanced imaging systems. Recent innovations within advanced modalities such as CT and MRI, as well as the additional revenue opportunities created by them, indicate that vendors will be keen to focus on advanced modalities in 2022. Signify expects to see some of the biggest advances in medical imaging workflow. However, increasing dependence on MRI and CT means greater time and resource commitment from providers. Nevertheless, the latest workflow tools from vendors will help mitigate these disadvantages – something that assumes significant importantce in the wake of the disruptive pandemic.
Signify further expects technicians as well as radiologists to benefit from AI. So far, the use of AI in medical imaging has focused on reading images. However, this is set to change in 2022 with vendors launching new solutions that will aid in capturing images and also alleviate the widespread problem of staff shortages. Vendors are expected to intensify their focus on structured data aggregation in 2022 as both vendors and providers are beginning to increasingly understand the potential offered by data. The demand for real world evidence required to support drug development and companion diagnostics will create commercial opportunities to leverage this.
Further, Signify expects pathology to play a more significant role in medical imaging IT in 2022. As enterprise imaging solutions mature, digital pathology is all set to play a greater role. For most imaging IT vendors, primary use applications will only be tenable via partnerships, which are likely to gain greater traction this year. Signify anticipates AI product categories to blur in 2022. Typically, AI solutions fall in any one of the three categories: comprehensive solutions; end-to-end solutions; and body-area suites and workflow packages. However, the boundaries between these solutions are expected to blur in 2022 as imaging IT vendors and providers assume a more central role in the market.
In 2022, AI tools will not be sold on the basis of their technology. As providers become increasingly knowledgeable about AI, vendors will no longer be able to promote solutions based on their machine learning credentials and will instead need to prove how their solutions can resolve a provider's specific problems. Signify further expects the value of operational workflow to grow and increasingly shape business models in 2022. Operational workflow tools are anticipated to become of paramount importance to providers who are striving to operate most efficiently. In 2022, vendors will use these tools to sell additional professional services to providers, resulting in much closer relationships between vendors and providers over the longer term.