Nuclear medicine sentiment improves with expectations for higher volume

By Davin Korstjens, contributing writer

July 8, 2022 -- Nuclear medicine procedure volumes are expected to increase in 2022, but reimbursement, revenue, and net income are expected to stay the same, according to IMV Medical Information Division's newly published 2022 Nuclear Medicine Market Outlook Report.

The report was published in June 2022 and is based on responses from 338 radiology and nuclear medicine administrators who participated in IMV's nationwide survey from February to April 2022.

Compared with IMV's 2018 Nuclear Medicine Market Outlook Report, respondents are more optimistic about growth in procedure volume and less optimistic about revenue, reimbursement, and net income, indicating an improvement in sentiment for centers utilizing nuclear medicine systems.

As of early 2022, COVID-19 continued to have an impact on nuclear medicine operations, with 11% of respondents indicating the pandemic as having a "high impact" and 35% stating a "medium impact" in their facilities. The impact was primarily driven by requirements for technologists to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), cancellations or no-shows of appointments due to fear of exposure to COVID, stay-at-home guidelines, and declines in patient volumes.

Supply chain challenges associated with COVID-19 have resulted in 14% of sites that use radiopharmaceuticals indicating there have been changes in how they order nuclear medicine radiopharmaceuticals. These changes include changes to order frequency and timing as well as reduced dosing.

Nuclear medicine departments continue to prioritize improving the patient experience and satisfying the needs of referring physicians, according to the IMV study. These priorities are closely followed by a focus on managing staffing levels to meet patient volume and scheduling needs, obtaining/maintaining nuclear medicine department accreditation, and improving workflow and productivity in nuclear medicine departments.

Currently, an estimated 25% of nuclear medicine sites perform radionuclide therapy procedures. This percentage increases to 45%-65% of sites performing these procedures when only considering hospitals with 200 or more beds.

Most fixed nuclear medicine cameras are currently installed in hospitals (57%), with 43% in nonhospital locations. Within nonhospital locations, 74% of the 43% nonhospital locations (32% of total) are physician office locations.

The installed base of fixed Nuclear Medicine cameras increased slightly, by 2% to 14,860 units, compared with the 2018 study, driven primarily by an 11.9% increase in installations at nonhospital sites.

In 2022, a combined 41% of sites responded "Yes" or "Maybe" when asked whether they planned to purchase nuclear medicine cameras over the next three years. This is down from 53% of sites in 2018 and in line with 40% of sites in 2015.

Davin Korstjens is Senior Market Research Program Manager at IMV Medical Information Division, part of Science and Medicine Group.

IMV's 2022 Nuclear Medicine Market Outlook Report explores market trends in U.S. hospitals and imaging centers, including procedure volume, manufacturer-installed base features and share, the use of OEM versus third-party service providers, purchase plans, brand loyalty, and site operations characteristics.

The 2022 Nuclear Medicine Market Outlook Report was published in June 2022 and is based on responses from 338 radiology/nuclear medicine administrators who participated in IMV's nationwide survey in February - April 2022. Their responses have been projected to the IMV-identified universe of hospitals and imaging centers in the U.S. that use nuclear medicine systems to perform nuclear medicine imaging, and the report provides market forecast scenarios addressing the nuclear medicine unit market in the U.S. for 2021-2024. Vendors covered in this report include Siemens, GE, Philips, Canon, Digirad, Spectrum Dynamics, and more.

For information about purchasing IMV's 2022 Nuclear Medicine Market Outlook Report, visit the corporate website at or call 703-778-3080 ext. 1033 to speak with a representative.

Disclosure: IMV Medical Information Division is a sister company of

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