The value of the global ultrasound market is expected to reach $6.86 bln by 2020 from an estimated $5.25 bln in 2015, at an annual rate of 5.5 percent, due mainly to ongoing technological advancements, increasing public-private investments and growing demand for minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.
However, a market study by Research & Markets said that a dearth of skilled and well-trained sonographers and unfavourable healthcare reforms in the U.S. are major factors restraining the market growth during the forecast period.
On the basis of technology, the ultrasound market is segmented into diagnostic (2D, 3D and 4D, and Doppler) and therapeutic ultrasound (high-intensity focused ultrasound and extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy).
The diagnostic segment is expected to account for the largest share of the ultrasound technology market in 2015. The strong market positioning of this technology segment is attributed to the use of 2D ultrasound in disease diagnosis, availability of significant medical reimbursement, ongoing technological advancements in the field of diagnostic imaging, and expansion of application horizon of 3D and 4D ultrasound in disease diagnosis.
On basis of device display, ultrasound products are categorised into ‘colour’ and ‘black & white’ devices. The color segment is expected to account for the largest share of the global ultrasound market and is expected to grow at the highest rate from 2015 to 2020. Factors such as technological benefits offered by colour ultrasound, growing market availability of advanced colour ultrasound devices (coupled with expansion of distribution networks of OEMs in mature and emerging markets), rising market demand for minimally invasive therapies across major markets (such as the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Japan, and China), and rising trend of the competitive pricing strategy adopted by device manufacturers are contributing to the growth of the colour segment.
Geographically, the ultrasound market is classified into four regions – North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World. Europe is expected to account for the largest share of the global market in 2015, followed by North America. Factors such as increase in the number of products being commercialised, expansion in clinical applications of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), increasing market penetration of therapeutic ultrasound, and growing emphasis on minimally invasive procedures are driving the European market.
However, Asia-Pacific is poised to be the fastest-growing region in the ultrasound market owing to significant expansion and modernisation of the healthcare infrastructure, increasing number of age-related illnesses, growing public awareness about therapeutic benefits offered by ultrasound, and increasing focus of international device manufacturers on strengthening their distribution networks in APAC.
According to the survey, the leading players operating in the global ultrasound market were General Electric Co. (U.S.), Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Netherlands), Toshiba Corp. (Japan), Siemens AG (Germany), Hitachi Ltd. (Japan), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (South Korea), Fujifilm Holdings Corp. (Japan), Esaote S.p.A. (Italy), Mindray Medical International Ltd. (China), and Analogic Corp. (U.S.).