Cardiology pushes global ultrasound market to $6.2B by 2015
Rising healthcare expenditures, product innovations and technological advancements are a few of the factors expected to boost growth prospects in the global medical ultrasound equipment market, which is projected to reach $6.2 billion in sales by 2015, according to a report from market research firm Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

Since its introduction in the early 1950s, medical ultrasound has engulfed a major share of the medical imaging market. Advancement in new technologies, such as 3D and 4D, led to the development of equipment that improved image quality and clinical outcomes, GIA said.

Miniaturization of ultrasound devices and continued incorporation of system electronics into ultrasound technology is another visible trend in the market. The market for portable ultrasound equipment is expected to witness rapid growth in future due to flexibility in usage, simplified operations, cost-effectiveness and portability, according to the report.

GIA reported that cardiology ultrasound equipment represents the fastest growing segment with revenues projected to reach $684 million by 2010 in the United States.

However, the report noted that the overall market for ultrasound equipment is near saturation in the United States. The market is essentially driven by the need for replacing aging equipment and upgrading to new advanced technologies. Demand for ultrasound systems in Europe is largely a factor of its cost. Germany, France and the United Kingdom represent the major markets in Europe with about a 65-percent share of revenues.

Though healthcare infrastructure in most countries in Asia-Pacific is not fully developed, of late increasing growth in developing economies is expected to result in a large-scale investment in healthcare facilities, which is expected to spur the demand for ultrasound equipment, according to GIA’s research.

Philips Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare, GE Healthcare and Toshiba Medical Systems account for about 80 percent share of the global market, GIA said.