The South Korean nuclear imaging market is expected to project a growth of 6.68% . The increasing prevalence of cancer, along with certain cardiovascular diseases, is the major driver for the South Korean nuclear imaging market. According to the Cancer Research and Treatment Organization, Korea, a total of 221,347 new cancer cases are estimated to be recorded in 2019, and males (120,352) are more likely to be affected than females (100,995). Additionally, increasing technological advancements in PET or SPECT imaging, simultaneously, with radionuclide/radiopharmaceutical therapy, are expected to propel the growth of the nuclear imaging market in South Korea.
However, the ever-increasing healthcare expenses pose a major challenge to the healthcare environment, in terms of cost-effectiveness. The high capital investment needed for the generation of radionuclide, and for the maintenance of machines, is a major obstacle in the market in South Korea.
Key Market Trends
Cardiology Dominates the SPECT Application Segment in the South Korea Nuclear Imaging Market
The cardiology segment of the market studied is expected to show a faster growth in the South Korea Nuclear Imaging Market. A SPECT scan of the heart refers to a non-invasive nuclear imaging test that uses radioactive tracers. These tracers are injected into the blood, in order to produce pictures of the heart. SPECT is used to diagnose coronary artery disease, as well as to detect a heart attack. SPECT can demonstrate how well the heart is working and how well the blood is flowing to the heart. Cardiac SPECT is mostly safe for people. The amount of radiation is small, and one’s body is likely to get rid of it through kidneys, within about 24 to 72 hours. According to the WHO’s most recent findings (taken from 2015 figures), an average of 74.6 CVD-related fatalities were observed in South Korea, for every 100,000 people, in a year. According to the 2018 article, “Current Status of Nuclear Cardiology in South Korea”, in 2016, SPECT MPI (Myocardial Perfusion Imaging) had 12.8% share in the total gamma imaging studies. The recent installation of cadmium-zinc-telluride (CZT) cardiac-dedicated SPECT system in South Korea has brought even higher volumetric expansion of SPECT MPI. CZT SPECT-measured myocardial blood flow (MBF) and myocardial flow reserve (MFR) are also available in the country. Hence, the promising results and clinical usefulness of CZT SPECT MPI may undoubtedly promote nuclear cardiology in South Korea.
Market players focus on continuous product development and offering a wide range of products at competitive prices, especially in the developing countries. Companies are focusing on the expansion of their product portfolios by adopting inorganic growth strategies, such as acquisitions, mergers, and partnerships. Major market players in the South Korean nuclear imaging market are DuChemBIO Co. Ltd, FutureChem, GE Healthcare, IBA Radiopharma Solutions, KAERI (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute), KIRAMS (Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences), NuCare Inc., Samyoung Unitech, and Siemens Healthineers.
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