Ultrasound Devices Market – Enhancing Visualization in Medical Imaging
Medical ultrasound also referred as ultrasonography or diagnostic sonography is a technique based on application of ultrasound to visualize internal body structures such as muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and others. Moreover, the ultrasonography has wide applications in examining pregnant women known as obstetric ultrasound that helps to monitor the development and well-being of the baby in the womb. The ultrasound waves are audio waves with frequencies higher than the audible range of human beings. Technological advancements in the ultrasound imaging, can provide 3D as well 4D data of the internal body structures. Ultrasound has become an indispensable modality in imaging, owing to its flexibility and non-invasive characteristics. The ultrasound devices market is expected to witness a significant growth over the forecast period, owing to the increasing number of pregnancies and childbirth, awareness among populace regarding the benefits of early diagnosis and rise in incidence of chronic diseases such as cardiac diseases requiring observation of heart and cardiac muscle function to ensure the effects of treatments.
Increasing number of pregnancies to boost the growth of global ultrasound devices market
The rise in number of child births every consistent year is one of major factors promoting the use of ultrasound devices as the development of the child in the womb is usually monitored with the help of ultrasound imaging. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total number of births in the U.S. accounted for 3,978,497 in 2016. The birth rate in the U.S. was 12.4 births per 1,000 population and thus obstetrics and gynecology contributes a significant share in the global ultrasound devices market. Technological advancements in automated medical imaging tools and software have changes the conventional way of performing ultrasound imaging. For instance, Philips Healthcare in 2013 introduced ‘Epiq’ Ultrasound Platform, new technology and software that uses Philips’s Anatomical Intelligence Software, which assist the operators to get optimum views of specific measurement and exam and uses intelligence in determining the anatomy of the organ being imaged from a correct direction to get optimum image quality. However, reproducibility still exists to be major limitation of the ultrasound devices as variation between operator leads to different measurements for the same anatomy.
The global ultrasound devices market was valued at US$ 5,888.1 million in 2016 and is expected to witness a robust CAGR of 1.9% over the forecast period (2017 - 2025).
Figure 1. Global Ultrasound Devices Market Share (%), by Device Type, 2016
Technological advancements in the hand-pieces segment to propel the growth of global ultrasound devices market
Market players are focused towards providing advanced ultrasound devices to the consumers that include updated technologies and improvements in workflow and image quality. For instance, Esaote SpA launched new CrystaLine imaging technology at American College of Cardiology (ACC) meeting in March 2014 that exhibits improved diagnostic efficacy and ability to personalize image quality for each patient. This technology contained several workflow enhancements that are helpful for clinicians to manage the increasing influx of patients. Some of the major players operating the global ultrasound devices market include GE Healthcare, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Toshiba Medical Corporation, Hitachi Medical Corporation, Analogic Corporation, Fujifilm Corporation, Siemens Healthcare, Samsung Medison Co. Ltd., and Esaote S.p.A.
Ultrasound devices are imaging machines that use sound waves to generate pictures of the internal body structures to find a source of disease or malfunction in various body organs such as tendons, joints, muscles, blood vessels, and others. Ultrasound devices are also used at a significant number for examining pregnant women and the brain and other functionalities of the infants. These devices offer great level of assistance in medical imaging as the ultrasound waves are non-invasive, safe, and do not make use of ionizing radiation. Ultrasound devices used in imaging are mainly classified in five different types that include 2D Ultrasound, 3D Ultrasound, 4D Ultrasound, Doppler Ultrasound, and High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Devices. The 2D ultrasound devices are the most commonly used in practice that provides flat, two-dimensional, black, and white images of internal body parts and infants in pregnant women.
The major factor driving the growth of global ultrasound devices market is the rise in incidence and prevalence rates of chronic diseases that demand medical imaging for its diagnosis and treatment monitoring. For instance, according to a data by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S., a majority of these diseases are diagnosed with the help of medical imaging such as ultrasound imaging. Various factors driving the global ultrasound market include technological advancements in ultrasound imaging such as 4D and high frequency focused ultrasound devices, rise in number of diagnostic imaging procedures, and increasing awareness among people regarding the importance of early disease diagnosis as a preventive measure. However, stringent FDA regulations and lack of skilled and experienced personnel to operate these devices are restraining the market growth.
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