The ultrasound systems market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% over the next six years, rising from a valuation of $4.6 billion in 2012, to hit a market value of $7 billion by the end of 2019.
Ultrasound imaging is one of the fastest growing sectors of the diagnostic imaging market. Ultrasound is cyclic sound pressure with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing. Ultrasound is thus not separated from normal sound based on differences in physical properties, only the fact that humans cannot hear it.
Ultrasound is used in many different fields. Ultrasonic devices are used to detect objects and measure distances. Ultrasonic imaging (sonography) is used in both veterinary medicine and human medicine. In the non-destructive testing of products and structures, ultrasound is used to detect invisible flaws. Industrially, ultrasound is used for cleaning and for mixing, and to accelerate chemical processes.
The most well known application of ultrasound is its use in sonography to produce pictures of foetuses in the human womb.
The US was the largest market for ultrasound systems in 2012, when it was valued at $1.5 billion. The US market, which accounted for 33% of global revenue in 2011, is highly penetrated and is primarily a replacement market for ultrasound systems. An increasing number of applications, and the adoption of fusion technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), are also expected to be major drivers for future growth.
In 2011, GE Healthcare was the leading company within the global ultrasound systems market, with a share of 25%, followed by Philips Healthcare with 19%. The leading five companies accounted for 74% of the global ultrasound systems market. Companies are focusing increasingly on investment in emerging economies and advancing the portability of ultrasound systems.
Companies are also focusing on enhancing the quality of images, while limiting any increases in the direct costs involved in the installation of ultrasound systems.
Future growth within the ultrasounds systems market is expected to be driven by technological advancements, the development of new imaging technologies such as 3D and 4D ultrasound imaging, an increased number of applications for ultrasound systems, and the penetration of portable and colour doppler ultrasound systems into the market.
The unfavourable reimbursement scenario in developed economies such as the US and Europe is expected to have a negative impact upon demand through to 2019.
For more information on the ultrasound systems industry, see the latest research: Ultrasounds Systems Industry
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