The global forensic imaging market is witnessing a significant surge in demand, attributed to the growing preference for less invasive procedures and the need to accommodate diverse religious beliefs. Traditional autopsies have faced resistance from certain communities worldwide, leading to increased acceptance of virtual autopsies and opening new avenues for tools like forensic imaging. In addition to being non-invasive, virtual autopsies offer quick results with optimal clarity, making them a viable alternative to conventional autopsies. Unlike the potentially disturbing photo evidence produced through traditional autopsies, 3D constructed images generated with novel imaging technologies are more acceptable in court proceedings. This factor continues to drive the growth of the forensic imaging market.
Use of Virtual Autopsy in Death Investigations and Clinical Studies to Bolster Market Growth
Forensic imaging is finding increased utility in investigating unnatural deaths, including homicides, accidental trauma, and suicides, all of which have seen a rise in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported approximately 24,576 homicides of all types in 2020, with gun-related homicides increasing by 35%. Similarly, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), homicides witnessed a significant rise, with a 3.5% increase in intentional homicides in the European Union in 2020. Courts are increasingly demanding compelling evidence that precisely reveals the causes of death, especially in cases lacking eyewitnesses, driving the adoption of virtual autopsies and boosting the forensic imaging market.
Moreover, forensic imaging is playing a pivotal role in various clinical studies. The growing number of voluntary body donors for anatomical studies, coupled with the emergence of new chronic diseases, is contributing to the value growth of the forensic imaging market. In situations where conducting a conventional autopsy poses infection risks, such as in cases of novel coronavirus-related deaths, forensic imaging tools, including radiological imaging, can eliminate these risks while providing critical insights into the diseases pathophysiology. This has led to an increased demand for virtual autopsy tools on a global scale.
X-ray to Significantly Contribute Towards Value Growth of the Market
Forensic imaging employs various modalities, including X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, and MRIs. Among these, the demand for X-ray in forensic imaging is projected to witness a substantial increase in the coming years. X-ray scans are being increasingly used in forensic cases involving air embolism, gunshot wounds, and deaths resulting from vehicle collisions. Its ability to precisely locate foreign particles in the human body and detect various pathological and traumatic changes is driving its adoption in forensics, contributing to the growth of the forensic imaging market.
North America Expected to Cement Dominance
Developed nations in North America are poised to dominate the forensic imaging market. The region has witnessed a surge in unnatural deaths, with the FBI reporting a significant increase in murder rates in 2021. The rising workload in autopsy examination centers in countries like the United States and Canada has necessitated the use of advanced technology-backed tools, further fueling the adoption of forensic imaging tools.
Forensic Imaging Market: Competitive Landscape
Key players in the forensic imaging market are actively focusing on the development and launch of new products and solutions to maintain their market positions. Canon introduced the cost-efficient Aquilion Start CT scanner in 2019, tailored for forensic imaging. In 2020, Logicube launched new software for forensic imaging compatible with smartphones, allowing users to capture potential evidence using mobile phones with cloud storage. Renishaw introduced inVia InSpect in the same year, an offering utilized in forensic laboratories for trace evidence analysis.
Prominent players in the forensic imaging market include Shimadzu Corporation, GE, Canon Medical Systems, Bruker, Illumina Inc., Hitachi Ltd., and Neusoft Corporation.
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