The Conference Board of Canada’s Medical Imaging Equipment in Canada 2022: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities states that as the demand for medical imaging (MI) services is growing, aging MI equipment is an ongoing concern in Canada. And this aging equipment has a negative impact: Approximately 380,000 people are forced to exit the Canadian workforce temporarily every year while waiting longer than recommended for MI diagnostic tests.
The recommended maintenance and lifespan of MI equipment is not meeting internationally recognized targets. And among all current computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units, only 33.5% are between zero and five years old. The number of CT and MRI units over 10 years old suggests that Canada currently needs 257 new CT and MRI machines if it is to meet European Coordination Committee of Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT industry (COCIR) standards.
Technology is making big promises in all areas of healthcare. Informatics, artificial intelligence (AI), and Big Data mean machines can now be taught to identify, track, and predict a wide range of situations and automate or signal what needs to happen next. Common to all these technology advances is the need to manage large amounts of data. Blockchain technology, with its ability to closely track everyone who has seen or reported on images, is making inroads in MI.
While evaluating upgrades and new purchases is complicated, the need to upgrade and replace equipment (such as CT and MRI units) in Canada is evident. Suppliers of this equipment – as well as advanced technologies that can manage large amounts of data – may find opportunities in the Canadian market.