X-ray for medical, veterinary, industrial & security applications: new technologies reach the commercialization phase

Extracted from: X-Ray Detectors for Medical, Industrial and Security Applications report, Yole Développement, 2019


  • The X-Ray detector market reached US$2 billion in 2018 driven by the medical segment, accounting for 75% of the market, but the industrial and security market are gaining share.
  • IGZO and photon counting technologies are ready to finally reach commercialization, helped by economic and technical drivers such as artificial intelligence, spectral and 3D imaging.
  • New technologies reaching commercialization are reshuffling the cards of many players in the supply chain.


LYON, France – July 9, 2019: “The X-ray detector market reached US$2 billion in 2018 driven by the medical segment,” announces Marjorie Villien, PhD. Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole).The medical sector accounts for 75% of the global X-ray market, but the industrial and security market are step by step gaining share.”
With its new report, X-Ray Detectors for Medical, Industrial and Security Applications, the Life Sciences & Healthcare team from Yole, proposes a comprehensive overview of the X-ray technologies and related applications. This report provides a detailed overview of the X-ray imaging markets and technical landscapes at system and detector levels. Including accurate market data and forecasts, along with market share by application and by technology (aSi, aSe, CCD, CMOS, photodiodes, IGZO ) at the detector level. This x-ray report points out the business opportunities by presenting the different technologies, alternatives coming to market in the next few years and the possible new technologies currently in R&D.
Yole has followed the medical imaging market for years. With this new technology & market report, Yole’s analysts investigate today the veterinary, industrial, and security markets and offer you today a valuable picture of the X-ray world.

Today X-ray technology is gaining traction in the fields of industrial NDT and security.
The X-ray market was worth US$19 billion in 2018 at the system level. The medical market is by far the biggest, with US$16 billion revenues in 2018. The medical and dental segments are trusted by a few major players including Siemens, Philips, GE, and Canon. But smaller players with specific offers are gaining market share in areas like mammography, dental, and surgery.
In parallel, the security X-ray market is consolidated, with a few key players holding aound 60% of overall market share in 2018. These players include OSI Systems, Smiths Detection, L3 Security & Detection Systems, and Analogic Corporation, along with Safeway System and Nuctech in China.
At the end, the industrial segment is split into many applications with very different needs and specifications. This explains the high number of small companies in this segment, compared to the medical segment where the main products are in the hands of 4 - 5 core players.

At the detector level, the X-ray market was worth US$2.0 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow with a 5.9% CAGR between 2018 and 2024 to reach US $2.8 billion in 2024.
“Today, X-ray imaging is almost exclusively based on solid-state sensors. Flat panel detectors using aSi and CMOS represent the biggest share of the market, being worth US$1.3 billion in 2018”, comments Jérôme Mouly, Senior Technology & Market Analyst and Business Developer at Yole. “They were followed by silicon photodiode array detectors, which were worth US$500 million in 2018. At Yole we expect IGZO flat panels to make a big entry into the market as soon as 2021 and to reach U$236 million in 2024.”

IGZO is directly competing with aSi and CMOS, but CMOS is still the reference technology for applications needing high resolution. However, the price erosion is slow with CMOS because the number of systems sold is still low in the X-ray field and the size of the flat panels is large.
“The only reason for price erosion is the competition with aSi,” explains Marjorie Villien from Yole. “That explains why the price difference between CMOS and aSi is decreasing, especially for smaller panels.”
Commercialization of IGZO flat panels for X-ray imaging began this year with Rayence, iRay and Varex presenting IGZO based products. Yole is expecting a rapid ramp-up of IGZO integration in new products as the technology is ready and the supply chain is almost ready too. Imaging system manufacturers are eager to use this new technology because it offers better image quality at an affordable cost. However, ramp-up will depend on how rapidly the technology is integrated into new products.

“Another very interesting development is single photon counting for spectral imaging,” adds Jérôme Mouly from Yole. “With the acquisition of MultiX by Detection Technology and with Varex buying Direct Conversion AB, photon counting is no longer just a promising technology. It will soon be available in products from the biggest detector manufacturers. System manufacturers’ interest in single photon counting and spectral imaging is focused on discrimination of materials in security and industrial applications and use of targeted contrast agents in medical applications.”
Yole is also seeing a growing trend towards 3D imaging that translates into more CT being sold into various medical, security and industrial applications. X-ray line scan cameras are mainly used in industrial and security applications. The next trend in this field is the use of TDI cameras to enhance image quality. TDI cameras are already used for food sorting applications and non-destructive testing of microelectronics. AI will be the next megatrend to follow in the field of imaging. This is especially true in X-ray, as spectral imaging requires processing of massive amounts of data.

A detailed description of the X-ray report as well as related reports such as Machine Vision for Industry and Automation, is available on i-micronews.com. Therefore, X-ray technologies for machine vision have been also deeply analyzed by Yole’s analysts.
“There is a silent revolution going on in factories,” comments Alexis Debray, PhD Technology & Market Analyst at Yole and author of the machine vision report.The transformative forces we are facing are similar to what happened during the previous industrial revolutions. But this transformation isn’t about steam or electricity. Today’s trend is autonomous and on-demand processes, for humans and machines alike. Inside factories the transformation is about automation.”

Make sure to get a deep understanding of current and emerging X-ray-based solutions and discover right now the related technology & market reports from Yole on i-micronews.com.

CT : Computed Tomography
TDI : Time Delay Integration
AI : Artificial intelligence
aSi : amorphous Silicon
IGZO : Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide
NDT: Non-Destructive Testing

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