Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: A report says too many of Canada’s CT and MRI machines are more than 10 years old and must be replaced, and that opens the possibility for Wisconsin companies in the medical imaging industry to step in.
Canada’s medical imaging equipment is old and inadequate and needs a major update, a report says.
The report, Medical Imaging Equipment in Canada 2022-Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities, says the demand for medical imaging procedures by patients is growing but the fleet of CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) units is aging and cannot keep up.
As many as 380,000 people are forced to take temporary leaves from their jobs each year because they have to wait longer than recommended for medical imaging procedures, according to the report by the Conference Board of Canada. Patient wait times for CT and MRI diagnostics were estimated to cost Canada’s economy $3.5 billion in 2017, a figure that is likely to be substantially higher in 2022 in light of the increased demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as inflation.
“Based solely on these measures, Canada is ill-equipped to meet patient demands and deliver high-quality patient care,” the report says.
Only one-third, 33.5%, of the CT and MRI units in the country’s hospitals and clinics are five years old or newer, while 34% of the CT scanners and 39% of the MRI machines are more than 10 years old. That lags far behind global standards that call for at least 60% of the imaging equipment to be no more than five years old.
Canada needs 257 new CT and MRI units in order to meet industry standards set by the European Coordination Committee of Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT, the report recommends.
New machines also provide updated technology that can offer a marked improvement in diagnostic capability and in health care in general. Informatics, big data and artificial intelligence allow the machines to identify, track and predict a wide range of health situations and to signal what steps to take. New devices also provide higher quality images, more detailed data collection and reduced levels of radiation exposure, resulting in better patient outcomes.
Wisconsin companies producing medical imaging machines, components or technology may find strong opportunities in Canadian markets as the country moves to invest in new equipment.