Three Reasons Why We Need Optical Imaging Now More Than Ever

According to WHO, in 2011 about 285 million people worldwide were visually impaired, of which 39 million were completely blind and 246 million were moderately to severely visually impaired.

According to World Cancer Research Fund International, in 2012 about 14.1 million individuals in the world had cancer, of which 6.7 million were women and 7.4 million were men. The number of cancer cases is expected to increase to 24 million by 2035.

Enter Optical Imaging

Optical imaging is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses non-ionizing radiation to look inside the human body for the purpose of diagnosing disease. Non-ionizing radiation, such as visible, UV, and infrared light, is used to generate detailed images through electron excitation.

Optical imaging, along with MRI and X-rays, can be used by doctors and researchers to obtain better information about diseases by enhancing their view of organs, tissues, and smaller structures (including cells and molecules).

Three Reasons Why Optical Imaging is Important

Rise in incidences of disease

Optical imaging is used to diagnose various diseases in the areas of ophthalmology, oncology, and cardiology. OCT is a non-invasive test that helps in the early diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases. It is also ideal for the early detection and diagnosis of oral cancer, improving the survival rate.

Early detection of diseases

Optical imaging techniques are used during radiosurgery to diagnose various conditions such as disorders of the central nervous system by radiosurgery and surgical procedures to treat intracranial tumors and arteriovenous malformations. Breast and cardiac diseases can also be easily diagnosed with optical imaging.

These techniques can accurately depict molecular activity in the body and, as such, can potentially detect a disease in its infancy. Screening high-risk populations and detecting cancer early are crucial for cancer prevention and treatment, respectively. Optical imaging devices can also help gauge individuals’ responses to therapy, allowing doctors to determine the best course of treatment.

Growing elderly population and changing lifestyles

About 841 million people were estimated to be aged 60 and above in 2013, a number expected to double by 2050. Elderly people often require eye care, dental care, and dermatological services, all of which can be enhanced by optical imaging technology, especially since it reduces patients’ exposure to harmful radiation.

In addition, the high prevalence of chronic disease in the population because of childhood obesity, unhealthy habits, and limited access to or emphasis on preventive care propel market growth.