By 2014, the portable ultrasound market will be worth $1.25 billion--a 55 percent increase from 2009--a result of continued penetration and establishment of compact ultrasound into new applications and geographical regions, according to InMedica, the medical research division of market research group IMS Research.
The group, headquartered in Wellingborough, England, believes that new products and greater competition between manufacturers will lower prices, which will allow portable systems to infiltrate poorer regions. However, portable ultrasounds are not predicted to replace specialized cart-based systems in radiology, OB/GYN and cardiology hospital departments or imaging centers.
“Growth in the compact ultrasound market stems from demand for flexible imaging solutions in point-of-care applications, such as anesthesiology and emergency medicine,” explained Stephen Holloway, research analyst at InMedica. “Premium image quality and complex features are not essential; instead, flexibility, functionality and rapid diagnosis are much more important. As a result, ultrasound manufacturers are producing compact systems designed specifically for point-of-care applications.”