LONDON, Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Impact of Hybrid Imaging Platforms (TechVision): Combination of the best-of-both imaging modalities
The term hybrid imaging essentially refers to hardware-based image fusion where two different imaging modalities are combined in a single equipment. As image fusion through the hardware approach offers several advantages over software-based image fusion, such as accuracy of image co-registration and ease of image fusion through a single scan session, to name a few, hybrid scanners such as positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) were introduced in 2001, followed by the introduction of single photon emission computed tomography-computed tomography (SPECT-CT) hybrids in 2003. These two modalities are established in the market today, with PET-CT being the standard of care in oncology and SPECT-CT an upcoming hybrid modality currently being used mainly for cardiac scans. Presently, attempts are also being made to bring out hybrid imaging platforms, such as MRI-Optical imaging CT-optical imaging, and so on. These modalities are expected to have significant penetration potential mainly in clinical segments, such as oncology, cardiology, and neurology.
Multimodality imaging with PET/CT and SPECT/CT has become quite common in clinical practice and in preclinical and basic medical research. The combination of PET or SPECT with MRI is an area of active research at the present time. Combining spiral CT with PET has revolutionized conventional scintigraphy and allows obtaining highly accurate and differential diagnosis of disease pathologies. It is being expected that soon SPECT/CT will become the one stop clinical solution for orthopedic and infection imaging.
The rising importance of combining anatomic and molecular data has been driving multimodality or hybrid imaging. This is leading to an increase in installations of hybrid systems and a corresponding decline in standalone PET and SPECT systems worldwide.
To realize the full potential of hybrid imaging modalities, researchers and clinicians across the globe are brining together diverse kinds of clinical and technical expertise. At present, the highest installation of PET and PET/CT are in USA, followed by Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, and Switzerland. Austria, Netherlands, Italy, and South Korea have between and units per million inhabitants.
Hybrid imaging is becoming more common in Asia with Japan and Korea leading in the usage of PET/CT and PET scanners. Emerging markets, such as India, China, Singapore, and Australia are poised for increased adoption of hybrid modalities. To make the platform more affordable, more compact and cost-effective designs of multimodality systems are being explored. Attempts are also being made to utilize ultrasound imaging as a component of multimodality imaging due to its inherent advantage of tissue depth penetration.
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