Study: ultrasound departments extend capabilities
Diagnostic ultrasound utilization in U.S. hospitals has risen significantly since 1998 at the nearly 5,000 general ultrasound or radiology departments that exist in the U.S., according to a recently released report by the IMV Medical Information Division, a market research firm.
“In 2005, an estimated 31.2 million patient exams were conduced in 4,720 general ultrasound or radiology departments in U.S. hospitals, said Lorna Young, senior director, Market Research. “Diagnostic ultrasound utilization has grown steadily. For hospitals with 200+ beds, patient exams grew 41 percent from 13.1 million in 1998 to 18.5 million in 2005, for an annual growth rate of 5 percent per year,” added Young.
The report also details current trends in ultrasound procedures and technologies, including:
  • Average number of ultrasound units installed per hospital within a radiology department: 2.5;
  • More than 50 percent of ultrasounds installed in hospital-based departments were in place by 2002, or later;
  • As budgets are increased, these sites are actively purchasing and upgrading systems, according to the report, with more than 40 percent of the sites improving their capabilities;
  • Key technological drivers are 3D, 4D, and instant optimization; and
  • Ultrasound departments are increasingly using electronic distribution to multiple locations, including off-site offices. According to the report, since 1998 with these types of electronic distribution networks within 200+ bed hospitals has risen from 26 percent to 88 percent.
The full IMV 2005 Diagnostic Ultrasound Market Summary Report is available at