Nonhospital sites doing nuc med procedures jump 30% in U.S.

January 28, 2004

Cardiology drives boom in non-PET imagingNuclear medicine has leapt forward dramatically. Data acquired and interpreted by IMV Medical Information Division of Des Plaines, IL, indicates that an estimated 18.4 million nuclear

Cardiology drives boom in non-PET imaging

Nuclear medicine has leapt forward dramatically. Data acquired and interpreted by IMV Medical Information Division of Des Plaines, IL, indicates that an estimated 18.4 million nuclear medicine procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2002. These were performed in more than 7000 hospital and nonhospital sites, according to a report just released by IMV, representing a 9.5% increase over the 2001 volume of 16.8 million procedures performed in 6250 sites.

Impressively, this boom was achieved in conventional nuclear medicine, not PET. Cardiology has been driving the boom, as more than half, or 9.9 million procedures, were cardiovascular studies. IMV executive Gail Prochaska was not surprised.

"Most of the growth in nuclear medicine over the past decade has been driven by cardiovascular procedures, which have grown from 35% of all procedures in 1992 to 54% in 2002," said Prochaska, vice president of IMV Medical Information Division, a marketing research and consulting firm specializing in the analysis of medical imaging and other advanced healthcare technologies.

Where the procedures were done, however, was not typical. The growth in cardiovascular procedures came largely from nonhospital sites, particularly cardiology practices. In IMV's 2003 Nuclear Medicine Census Database, Prochaska and staff identified 2823 nonhospital sites that perform nuclear medicine procedures, representing an increase of 30% over the 2168 sites identified in the company's 2001/02 census. This was 10 times the rate of growth of hospitals having this capability, which increased only 3% over the same period, she said.

In its 2003 edition of the Nuclear Medicine Census Database, IMV profiles 5514 sites, which make up nearly 80% of the 7011 identified nuclear medicine facilities in the U.S. Applications of the database include market development, targeted marketing, lead generation, installed base marketing programs, sales territory deployment, provider consultation, and competitive analysis. The report compares nationwide trends from this recent census with the eight prior census surveys that IMV has conducted since 1990.