Change beckons in advanced visualization market

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The market for advanced visualization in medical imaging is shifting away from the traditional workstation and toward software that is capable of integrating with a wide range of tools and interfaces, according to a new report by Signify Research.

Advanced methods of visualizing medical images have predominantly been limited for use by specialists and technicians in a workstation-based environment, noted Ulrik Kristensen, PhD, a senior market analyst at Signify Research. With the recent rise of enterprise imaging, however, clinicians have begun favoring broader imaging platforms that often combine diagnostic review with postprocessing visualization.

The demand for advanced visualization platforms that function in isolation is no longer increasing, he added. Instead, the market appears to be most interested in new advanced visualization tools that can help clinicians improve the clinical depth and reach of existing platforms. This shift in preference is creating a market geared toward partnerships among vendors and integration among tools.

A likely contributor to the recent focus on partnerships and integration is the growing interest in enterprise imaging, he wrote. Healthcare institutions continue to look for ways to simplify their supply chains and share data between hospitals departments and across multiple sites. Having a common, central interface for imaging and visualization may support a more seamless integration of tools from different specialties.

This desire is evident in the changes occurring to universal viewers. Initially designed only for reviewing images from various PACS, universal viewers are now offering more diagnostic capabilities and adding new advanced visualization tools.

Will this progressing integration lead to the convergence of advanced visualization and universal viewing? It's possible, Kristensen noted. Though it will take time for firms from these two distinct markets to establish partnerships and settle on how to best integrate their technologies.

"It should not be forgotten that as the reach of viewing platforms increases, so too does the diversity of user needs," he wrote. "Thus, even though the central platform and user interface may become more consolidated, it must also have adaptability and flexibility built-in to meet the complex needs of each group."

The Advanced Visualisation and Viewing IT -- World -- 2017 report contains a detailed analysis of the international advanced visualization market (valued at 1.1 billion euros), including information on market size estimates and annual growth rate forecasts for 2017 to 2021.

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