According to a report from market analysis company Frost & Sullivan, hybrid imaging platforms represent a significant advancement for clinicians by presenting them with both anatomical and physiological images of patients’ organs, tissues, and tumors in a single scan.

Market analysts report that these platforms have widespread applications in cardiology, oncology, brain imaging, drug discovery and personalized medicine. A report on this technology from Frost & Sullivan, Impact of Hybrid Imaging Platforms, splits hybrid imaging into six categories: positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT); single photon emission CT-CT (SPECT/CT); magnetic resonance (MR)/PET; MR/SPECT; ultrasonography/MR; and magnetic resonance imaging/CT.

The TechVision practice at Frost & Sullivan found that hybrid imaging with PET/CT and SPECT/CT has been eagerly adopted in clinical practice as well as preclinical and basic medical research. They report that SPECT/CT is expected to become a one-stop clinical solution for orthopedic and infection imaging, while the combination of spiral CT and PET will likely remain relevant for conventional scintigraphy.

Presently, the US accounts for the most number of installations of PET and PET/CT, followed by Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland. Additionally, Austria, Netherlands, Italy and South Korea are key markets for the PET and PET/CT segment, with between 1.5 and 2.0 units installed per million inhabitants. The future of hybrid imaging for diagnostics in China and Korea is reported to be promising.

According to the report, the full potential of hybrid imaging modalities is being explored by researchers and clinicians around the globe to develop novel platforms. One of the key hybrid imaging platforms combine hybrid nuclear medicine and optical imaging systems. Currently, nuclear medicine radiotracer assays have already moved from animal models to humans for use in clinical applications.

For more details on the research and to download a complimentary version of the executive summary, please visit the Frost & Sullivan website.