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The global optical imaging market is estimated to have reached a value of around $915.8 million by the end of 2012. The market is forecasts to grow further to a total of $1.9 billion by 2018, growing at a CAGR growth rate of 11.37% between 2013 and 2018. Among the modalities, OCT occupies a major share contributing over 70% of the total optical imaging market. America is the major market for optical imaging equipments followed by Europe, and they have been driving the market significantly owing to the growth of aging population across the developed economies. Other than the mature markets, emerging economies such as Asia-pacific and Middle-East are the future drivers of optical imaging market.
Multi-modality imaging using optical imaging principles boosts the development of novel therapeutics and altering the course of patient management and disease care. The combination of spectral and photonics phenomenon has enabled new optical imaging capabilities, providing clinicians with unique views of the structure and functioning, both at the molecular and cellular levels.
A key driving force of Optical imaging techniques is the technologys immense application scope for easy access to visualize and image in-depth structures of eye, surface tissues, mucosal membranes, the gastrointestinal tract, and vascular systems. They also enhance the drug discovery process by enabling better imaging of tissues and other biological entities at the molecular level. A major advantage of using optical imaging includes operator safety, patient comfort and patient safety. In the future, most of these technologies will gain widespread clinical acceptance and find specific roles in the clinical medicine.
Optical Imaging is an emerging imaging technology that uses light to assess optical properties of tissues, and has a great potential for improving disease prevention, clinical research, medical diagnosis and treatment. The basic principle of optical imaging involves - the detection of emitted photons at pre-defined wavelength ranges when the fluorescent probes in the optical imaging system can be excited by NIR light. Further advancements and breakthroughs in the field of fiber optics and photonics resulted in the emergence of innovative optics based technologies such as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Photo-acoustic Optical imaging, Hyperspectral Imaging and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) that have a potential to redefine the fields of medical diagnostics and clinical research.
These technologies have an ability distinguish the diverse soft tissues based on photon absorption and scattering differences among the soft tissues enhancing the accuracy of clinical research and pathological diagnosis. Though optical imaging is still in the early phase of development, it offers a number of important advantages over existing radiological imaging techniques. These optical imaging modalities use no radiation and are non-invasive, offering a promising future for medical diagnostics and clinical research in the coming five years.
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