Since the time advanced visualization (AV) systems have been put to use, the technology had been restricted to academic institutions and large hospitals. It formed a part of a dedicated workstation with its hardware, which ensured that the technology was a standalone application that could not be used beyond the department where it was located. Medical professionals would collate digital imaging and other information from a portal and then work on them at the workstation itself. AV systems had until recently been rigid and uniform. However, recent developments in this field have facilitated custom protocols and user interfaces, ensuring that the technology adapted according to the user.

How AV systems have become more accessible

In the past few years, AV systems have become more widespread and accessible. Instead of being a niche technology available only on dedicated workstations, it is now incorporated in most image management systems, from workstations, to picture archiving and communications systems (PACS). Improved hardware performance and Internet speed have facilitated improved access to AV tools from remote locations that are outside radiology departments.

It is gradually becoming more focused on specialized applications that require unique post-processing, which include apps for liver analysis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, oncology management, radiation treatment, and surgery planning.

Technological trends impacting AV systems

The impact of technological advancements of AV systems and its use within medical care has been significant.

Increased use of mobile devices – The adoption of mobile devices has witnessed a significant upswing within the medical community. Medical professionals are increasingly using tablets and mobile devices to review medical images and sharing them with their patients, along with referring physicians. This trend is expected to pick up pace over time.

Adoption of 3D surgical modeling - A significant trend in AV systems is the adoption of 3D models, from CT and MRI scans, to help guide minimally invasive surgeries. 3D surgical models are typically created by doctors or third-party 3D laboratories and transmitted, via the web to help diagnose and treat diseases.

Shifting to cloud - The advent of cloud technology has further enhanced the accessibility of AV systems. It has enabled medical professionals to utilize the hospital or imaging center’s server to store images and have secure access to the server at any point in time. The introduction of web-based services has also allowed medical professionals to better leverage cloud technology to store large volumes of data over the Internet and allow access to these data via web-accessible, third-party servers.

AV systems are gaining a strong foothold in the healthcare industry owing to its abilities to yield detailed and enhanced images, allowing medical professionals to understand patients’ critical clinical issues better. Based on this, the global advanced visualization market is expected to expand considerably in the foreseeable future, according to research firm Netscribes.