Free Medical Imaging Market Outlook 2023 – A Glimpse into the Future

The medical imaging market has undergone significant transformation over the past decade. With the rise of technology and the increasing need for more precise diagnostic tools, it’s fascinating to see how different imaging modalities have evolved in the UK from 2012 to 2023. Let’s dive into the data and uncover the story it tells.

UK Data

Medical Imaging examinations in UK (2012-2023). Source: NHS

The Reign of X-ray

X-Ray, one of the oldest and most commonly used imaging techniques, has maintained its dominance throughout the decade. With over 21 million exams in 2012, it peaked in 2018 with approximately 23.5 million exams.

Example of a hospital room with medical imaging acquisition equipment

The Rise of Ultrasound

Ultrasound technology has become more accessible and versatile. From 7.8 million exams in 2012, it surged to over 10 million by 2023. This growth can be attributed to its non-invasive nature, making it a preferred choice for many diagnostic needs, from obstetrics to cardiology.

The Technological Marvel – MRI & CT

Both MRI and CT scans have seen a steady increase over the years. MRI, which started at 2.3 million in 2012, reached over 4 million by 2023. Similarly, CT scans grew from 3.4 million to 6.7 million. These modalities offer detailed images, making them invaluable in diagnosing a range of conditions.

The Underdogs – Fluoroscopy, Nuclear Medicine, and PET-CT

While these modalities have smaller volumes than giants like X-Ray and Ultrasound, their importance cannot be understated. PET-CT, for instance, saw significant growth from 71,485 in 2012 to 255,370 in 2023, highlighting its increasing role in oncology and other fields. Each of these ‘underdog’ technologies has its own niche, much like the specialized ultrasound equipment that we are about to delve into.

The 2020 Anomaly

It’s hard to miss the dip in 2020 across all modalities. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted healthcare globally, leading to postponed or canceled non-urgent procedures. However, the bounce-back in 2021 is a testament to the resilience of the healthcare system.

How is the Medical Imaging Market driven by the research community?

As we shift our focus from clinical applications to the burgeoning research initiatives, we unearth a fascinating correlation between scientific inquiry and clinical practice. The ever-expanding research papers emanating from PubNet present a compelling narrative of how technology trends are being sculpted.

Medical Imaging Market
Source: PubNet statistics. Number of papers with particular modality keyword.

Cutting-edge research not only enhances existing imaging solutions but also paves the way for novel applications. This intellectual pursuit is clearly reflected in the staggering number of publications that signal a collective push towards refining and reimagining medical imaging. It’s a symbiotic relationship where clinical demands spark research, and research, in turn, fuels clinical innovation.


Despite the stable usage of X-ray in clinical settings throughout the UK, which has seen a consistent volume of examinations over the past decade, the research community as cataloged in PubNet has painted a different picture. The number of publications featuring X-ray as a keyword has increased dramatically, showcasing a burgeoning interest among researchers. This surge in academic attention suggests a landscape where X-ray technology is being reexamined and potentially revitalized through innovative approaches that could reshape its future applications. The number of publications might be related to the availability of huge datasets for AI such as CheXpert and Chest x-ray14.


Taking a closer look at MRI, for instance, we see a market that’s expanding at a healthy clip, propelled by technological advancements and an increasing demand for high-resolution imaging. As research papers delve into new MRI techniques and applications, we can expect the market to respond with new product developments and an increased adoption rate in clinical settings.

What about the market size?

Beyond the clinical advancements and diagnostic applications, the economic footprint of medical imaging technologies paints a vivid picture of their impact on healthcare systems. To understand the financial trajectory and investment potential of these technologies, let’s delve into the market size and growth forecasts. Here, we quantify the industry’s expansion, exploring the current valuations and future projections that underscore the increasing importance of medical imaging in healthcare economics

Medical Imaging Market Size of CT

The global CT scanner market size is projected to grow from around USD 6.95 billion in 2023 to USD 10.19 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of approximately 5.6% (source)​. Another source mentions the CT market size to be USD 8.14 billion in 2023, expecting to reach USD 10.95 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 6.12%​ (source).

Medical Imaging Market Size of X-ray

The global X-ray systems market size was valued at approximately USD 15.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to USD 15.86 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 4.4% (source). Further, it is forecasted to grow by USD 3888.72 million during 2022-2027, accelerating at a CAGR of 6.2%​ (source).

Medical Imaging Market Size of Ultrasound

The global ultrasound equipment market size was around USD 9.32 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 15.21 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 7.3%​ (source)​. Another estimation places the market size at USD 8.89 billion in 2023, expecting it to reach USD 11.70 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.66%​ (source).

Medical Imaging Market Size of MRI

The market size for MRI equipment is expected to grow from USD 7.48 billion in 2023 to USD 11.50 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 6.3%​ (source). Additionally, it is estimated that the MRI market size is USD 9.03 billion in 2023, with projections to reach USD 12.14 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 6.10%​ (source).

Explore startups in the medical imaging market in our previous post and papers from the latest prestigious medical technology conference MICCAI 23 here.

Stay tuned for our upcoming analysis of key players and emerging technologies in the medical imaging market, where we decode the trends and predict the game-changers in the years to come.