Nuclear Imaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Nuclear Imaging Market is segmented by Product (Equipment and Radioisotope), Application (SPECT Applications and PET Applications), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and South America). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Study Period: 2019-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia-Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: 4.28 %

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Market Overview

The global nuclear imaging market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 4.28% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

COVID-19 has a huge impact on the patients as they became self-selective in that they canceled their nuclear imaging procedures, which were categorized as non-essential. This pandemic has affected the operations of hospitals and doctors too as they were also prioritizing their procedures and postponed many elective surgeries and radiation treatments, due to which there was a decrease in the demand for related PET scans. According to a study published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine in May 2020, titled “Nuclear Medicine Operations in the Times of COVID-19: Strategies, Precautions, and Experiences”, David Geffen School Of Medicine At UCLA, Los Angeles, California has reduced the on-site staff, limited nuclear medicine studies only for emergency studies, decreased the PET/CT volume is manageable by two technologists and temporarily halted all the research studies to prevent COVID-19 in the premises. Thus, COVID-19 has impacted the nuclear imaging market as there were distribution channel disruptions for most radiopharmaceuticals, delays in clinical studies, postponement of various surgeries and imaging procedures, an increase in teleradiology, and several staff-related limitations.

Certain factors that are propelling the growth of the market include technological advancements, increasing diagnostic applications in various diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, government support, and a shift from standalone to hybrid modalities. The technological advancements in the field of imaging have always been challenging to practitioners in how best to optimize them in patient care. Over recent years, scientists, researchers, and technologists have been able to bring systems into clinical practice, in which two or even more than two standalone diagnostic imaging modalities are combined. Some of those multimodality imaging systems include PET/CT, SPECT/CT, PET/MRI, and PET/SPECT/CT. The key players are working on many strategic projects. Mergers, acquisitions, collaborations, partnerships, and product launches are among them. For instance, in January 2021, Koninklijke Philips NV and Rennes University Hospital signed a 5-year innovation and technology partnership to support PET diagnostic, interventional imaging, patient monitoring, and management, among other things.

Moreover, the rise in the prevalence of cancer and cardiac ailments is one of the primary drivers for the market. For instance, as per the report from Globocan 2020, the number of new cancer cases in 2020 was 19.3 million and it was expected to rise with a count of 28.9 million by 2040. Nuclear medicine is hugely capable of treating cancer and cardiac diseases. There is significant evidence, which proves that diagnosing with nuclear imaging techniques has more impact on patient management for monitoring tumors and also their response to the drug. Furthermore, as per the review published in 2020 under the title “The Shortage of Technetium-99m and Possible Solutions”, the field of nuclear imaging is currently observing a shortage of the radionuclide Tc99m (technetium 99), which is the most used isotope for imaging the body in nuclear medicine scans. This worldwide shortage of radioisotopes will impact most diagnostic scans done in the nuclear medicine clinic.

As per the factors mentioned above, the nuclear imaging market is anticipated to witness growth over the forecast period. However, regulatory issues and lack of reimbursement restrain the market growth. 

Scope of the Report

As per the scope of the report, nuclear medicine imaging procedures are non-invasive, with the exception of intravenous injections, and are usually painless medical tests that help physicians diagnose and evaluate medical conditions. These imaging scans use radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers. These radiopharmaceuticals are used in diagnosis and therapeutics. They are small substances that contain a radioactive substance that is used in the treatment of cancer, and cardiac and neurological disorders. The Nuclear Imaging Market is segmented by Product (Equipment and Radioisotope), Application (SPECT Applications and PET Applications), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, and South America). The market report also covers the estimated market sizes and trends for 17 countries across major regions globally. The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

By Product
By Equipment
By Radioisotope
SPECT Radioisotopes
Technetium-99m (TC-99m)
Thallium-201 (TI-201)
Gallium (Ga-67)
Iodine (I-123)
Other SPECT Radioisotopes
PET Radioisotopes
Fluorine-18 (F-18)
Rubidium-82 (RB-82)
Other PET Radioisotopes
By Application
SPECT Applications
Other SPECT Applications
PET Applications
Other PET Applications
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa
South Africa
Rest of Middle East and Africa
South America
Rest of South America

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Key Market Trends

Oncology is Expected to Hold the Highest Market Share in PET Applications Over the Forecast Period

The major factors responsible for the growth of this segment include the rise in the prevalence of cancers that require advanced diagnostics like PET/CT scans. For instance, as per the report from International Agency for Research on Cancer, 21.6 million new cases of cancer are likely to be reported by 2025. The rise in funding for treating these disorders is also expected to boost innovation and research leading to market growth. According to International Agency for Research on Cancer, the number of people who died due to the disease was 9.96 million in 2020. This high incidence and mortality of cancer and the above-mentioned factors are expected to fuel the market growth.

The fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) /CT is more sensitive than contrast-enhanced CT scan in the staging of several types of lymphoma or in detecting tumor dissemination in several solid cancers, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer.

In the field of oncology, the PET (positron emission tomography) uses FDG (18Fluorine-2-fluoro-2-Deoxy-d-glucose) as the radiopharmaceutical, as it demonstrates the increased metabolism by malignant cells when compared to that of normal cells. Furthermore, there is continuous technological progress in the field of image generation. The introduction of sophisticated software to use PET scans as a biomarker has facilitated new ways to calculate new prognostic markers, such as the metabolic tumor volume (MTV) and the total amount of tumor glycolysis (TLG). The 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) has high sensitivity, but it is not tumor-specific. This technique can be used for the imaging of lung cancer, lymphoma, head and neck tumors, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, and urinary tract tumors. Furthermore, increased research and development in the field of nuclear medicine boost market growth. For instance, as per the press release published in 2022 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, a newly developed small-molecular radiopharmaceutical pair has successfully visualized and treated melanoma in a preclinical study, according to new research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2022 Annual Meeting.

Hence, due to the factors mentioned above oncology, this segment of the market is expected to witness growth over the forecast period.


North America Domainates the Market and is Expected to do the Same in the Forecast Period

North America is projected to account for the largest share of the market, due to the advancements in technology, including hybrid imaging, the introduction of new radiopharmaceuticals for diagnosis, and the development of molecular imaging.

The robust growth of the healthcare sector in the United States, increasing incidences of cancer, the growing geriatric population, and the increase in product launches that are leading to the rising use of antibody-drug conjugates, along with greater initiatives and investments towards advanced healthcare solutions involving cancer treatment, is expected to boost the market growth. For instance as per the report from Globocan 2020, in the United States, the anticipated incidence of cancer cases by 2035 is 2.94 million.

Increased investments and healthcare expenditure in the healthcare field fuel market growth. For instance, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), PhRMA members invested USD 102,288.4 million for research and development (R&D) in 2021, contributing a change of 12.2% from the 2020 investment. Hence, the biopharmaceutical sector was likely to be the most R&D-intensive industry in the United States. Furthermore, according to data published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the investments for cancer were estimated to reach up to USD 7,176 million in the year 2021. This was a marked increase from the 2020 figures of USD 7,035 million. Since treatment with antibody-drug conjugates is a novel field, rising investments in cancer research are expected to boost its growth during the forecast period.

The presence of competitors, collaborations, and research initiatives boost market growth. For instance, in 2021, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) amended Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) operating license for its Darlington nuclear power station near Clarington, Ontario, allowing the company to produce the medical radioisotope molybdenum-99 using Darlington’s Unit 2 CANDU reactor. OPG subsidiary Laurentis Energy Partners, in conjunction with BWXT Medical, is leading the program to produce Mo-99 at Darlington. A precursor to technetium-99m, Mo-99 is used in more than 40 million procedures a year to detect cancers and diagnose various medical conditions. With the use of Tc-99m in radiopharmaceuticals, the market is expected to grow at a tremendous rate in Canada. It is also combined with a variety of biologically active molecules to perform non-invasive, real-time imaging of the human body. Furthermore, there has been increasing awareness among people in this region about nuclear medicine treatment and diagnosis, which, in turn, has increased the prescriptions by physicians. This is expected to trigger the growth of the market.

As per the factors mentioned above, North America is expected to register a high growth rate for the studied market over the forecast period.

Nuclear Imaging Market-geo

Competitive Landscape

The nuclear imaging market is highly competitive and consists of a few major players. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. Companies, like Bracco Imaging SpA, Curium, Cardinal Health Inc., Koninklijke Philips NV, General Electric Company (GE Healthcare), and Siemens Healthineers, among others, hold a substantial share in the market.

Major Players

  1. Bracco Imaging SpA

  2. Cardinal Health Inc.

  3. Koninklijke Philips NV

  4. Siemens Healthineers

  5. General Electric Company (GE Healthcare)


Recent Developments

  • In June 2022, the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) announced the creation of the Mars Shot Fund, an initiative to raise USD 100 million to support for research into nuclear medicine, molecular imaging, and therapy. To date, the fund has received USD 600,000 in grants and pledges, and work is underway to increase federal spending on this issue.
  • In February 2022, the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) announced the launch of a program offering nuclear medicine facilities the opportunity to qualify as designated and certified Centers of Excellence in Radiopharmaceutical Therapy. The program is anticipated to meet strict regulatory, training, qualification, experience, and performance criteria to help assure patients, their families, referring physicians, and payers that rigorous procedures are in place and followed, leading to appropriate patient selection and outcomes from radiopharmaceutical therapy.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

      1. 4.2.1 Rise in Prevalence of Cancer and Cardiac Disorders

      2. 4.2.2 Increase in Technological Advancements

      3. 4.2.3 Growth in Applications of Nuclear Medicine and Imaging

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 Regulatory Issues

      2. 4.3.2 Lack of Reimbursement

    4. 4.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value - USD Million)

    1. 5.1 By Product

      1. 5.1.1 By Equipment

      2. 5.1.2 By Radioisotope

        1. SPECT Radioisotopes

          1. Technetium-99m (TC-99m)

          2. Thallium-201 (TI-201)

          3. Gallium (Ga-67)

          4. Iodine (I-123)

          5. Other SPECT Radioisotopes

        2. PET Radioisotopes

          1. Fluorine-18 (F-18)

          2. Rubidium-82 (RB-82)

          3. Other PET Radioisotopes

    2. 5.2 By Application

      1. 5.2.1 SPECT Applications

        1. Cardiology

        2. Neurology

        3. Thyroid

        4. Other SPECT Applications

      2. 5.2.2 PET Applications

        1. Oncology

        2. Cardiology

        3. Neurology

        4. Other PET Applications

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Spain

        6. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Australia

        5. South Korea

        6. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 Middle East and Africa

        1. GCC

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle East and Africa

      5. 5.3.5 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Bracco Imaging SpA

      2. 6.1.2 Cardinal Health Inc.

      3. 6.1.3 General Electric Company (GE Healthcare)

      4. 6.1.4 Koninklijke Philips NV

      5. 6.1.5 Siemens Healthineers

      6. 6.1.6 Curium


      8. 6.1.8 Nordion (Canada) Inc.

      9. 6.1.9 NTP Radioisotopes SOC

      10. 6.1.10 Canon Medical Systems Corporation

    2. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability
**Competitive Landscape covers- Business Overview, Financials, Products and Strategies and Recent Developments
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Frequently Asked Questions

The Global Nuclear Imaging Market market is studied from 2019 - 2027.

The Global Nuclear Imaging Market is growing at a CAGR of 4.28% over the next 5 years.

Asia-Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2021.

Bracco Imaging SpA, Cardinal Health Inc., Koninklijke Philips NV, Siemens Healthineers, General Electric Company (GE Healthcare) are the major companies operating in Global Nuclear Imaging Market.

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