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Ultrasound companies will highlight three major technology trends this week at European Congress of RadiologyFebruary 28, 2018The 2018 European Congress of Radiology (ECR) kicks off today in Vienna. ECR is one of the leading global events in radiology, and the congress will welcome nearly 27,000 attendees from over 140 countries. Three hundred exhibitors, 50 of which specialize in ultrasound, will display radiology equipment and products, and the largest international companies will host ‘Satellite Symposia’, company-sponsored educational sessions, during the congress. The on-show guide to the congress provides an outline for each Satellite Symposia and shows that ultrasound companies will focus on three technologies during the sessions—fusion imaging, contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), and shearwave elastography. These technologies and their influence on the global ultrasound market are defined and discussed below.
Competitive environment shakeup - What's ahead for ultrasound companies in 2018?January 30, 2018IHS Markit discusses the biggest mergers, acquisitions, and initial public offerings of the year and analyzes the implications for the global ultrasound market.
CES 2018 – More than 700 exhibitors focused on digital health, a $21 billion market in 2021January 17, 2018Digital health was a continuing trend at CES 2018 with 26% of exhibitors having an offering within biometrics, health and biotech, sports and fitness, or wearables. Looking at just companies related to digital health, more than 18% of exhibitors were related to consumer-side healthcare. IHS Markit forecasts the global market for digital health will grow from $15.6 billion in 2017 to $21.6 billion during 2021 at a CAGR of 8.5%, rapidly outpacing the traditional medical equipment markets. While much of the show was an evolution from previous years, including sleep monitoring, embedded sensors in clothing, and wrist-worn activity trackers, a few items incorporated broader technology trends such as machine learning, blockchain, medical-related wearables, and home-based diagnostics.
Three global trends changing the landscape of the medical imaging equipment marketSeptember 20, 2017Growth for x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, and CT equipment will be driven by a variety of unique factors, but several trends will affect future revenues for the entire medical imaging equipment market. Three of these trends—the aging global population, the changing US healthcare culture, and the emergence of healthcare markets in developing nations—are highlighted below and followed by IHS Markit’s advice for capitalizing on these trends.
Interventional cardiology ultrasound at the forefront of medical imaging innovationAugust 30, 2017Global revenues for interventional cardiology ultrasound equipment were $131 million in 2016 and are forecast to reach $161 million in 2021. Global demographic changes, fears regarding radiation dose, and the increasing accessibility of ultrasound are driving growth for the interventional cardiology market, and interventional cardiology advancements are driving growth for minimally invasive procedures.
Changes in ultrasound customer base are increasing demand for direct manufacturer interactionJuly 24, 2017With many trends influencing the growth of the ultrasound market, it is interesting to analyze the subsequent impact on the sales channels customers use to purchase equipment. As with most medical technology, the underlying factor of shrinking healthcare budgets is shaking up the ultrasound equipment product mix. The focus is on providing the best level of care and reducing high-cost procedures through prevention rather than cure; this is changing the way in which healthcare is provided. Not only are healthcare professionals seeking products that improve the return on investment, but also products that can be used in non-traditional applications; ultrasound equipment is now used by a greater variety of professionals than ever before. This is subsequently affecting the demand for user training and for receiving information directly from manufacturers.
Analyzing the market drivers and challenges for the adoption of handheld ultrasound systemsJune 14, 2017The growing popularity of quick examinations at the point –of –care is paving the way for the adoption of handheld ultrasound systems. These are portable ultrasound systems designed to be held by the doctor or technician conducting an imaging examination. This product category includes smart devices running mobile applications that operate as functioning ultrasound systems.
Breaking down the winners and losers of the 2016 global ultrasound marketMay 24, 2017Global ultrasound revenues totaled $6.16 billion in 2016 and are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 3.6% from 2016 to 2021. The following table shows the total ultrasound revenues for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), the Americas, and Asia Pacific in 2015 and 2016:
American Well and Samsung Health collaboration is great for the industry, but not transformativeApril 21, 2017With the launch of the highly anticipated S8 mobile handset, Samsung also renamed its health platform to “Samsung Health”. Beyond the standard health tracking and lifestyle management features, the company has enabled a deep integration of American Well’s telehealth services in its software. This is somewhat of a milestone for the virtual consultations market. American Well, as a third party service provider, has been available on most mobile platforms for a number of years, but the partnership with Samsung brings a completely new level of exposure – an exposure that should have a positive impact on the overall usage of virtual technology for doctor consultations.
Remote patient monitoring to include non-medical devicesApril 21, 2017The remote patient monitoring market has yet to reach its full potential, and since its inception, more than two decades ago, the technology has been overhauled on multiple occasions. Another revamp is undergoing right now, as vendors are expanding the ecosystem of devices included in the actual monitoring. Last week, Medtronic Care Management Service announced the integration of Garmin’s activity tracker series, Vivofit, into its remote patient monitoring platform. Meanwhile, iHealth Labs is entering the market after its acquisition of eDevice in September last year. Since the acquisition, the two companies have been working on the so-called “iHealth Next” solution – a combination of iHealth’s suite of devices in conjunction with eDevice’s infrastructure for remote patient monitoring. It is expected that iHealth Next also supports non-medical devices such as activity monitors.
What happens after self-diagnosis?April 21, 2017The insufficient number of physicians in the world, and growing demand for healthcare services, has led many initiatives that drive the enablement of consumers to self-diagnose at home. Last week, Final Frontier Medical Devices and Dynamical Biomarkers Group went head to head, as the Xprize finalists, competing to create a medical tricorder. Final Frontier Medical Devices came in at the top spot with its DxtER solution, which weighs less than five pounds, but can diagnose 34 health conditions. However, one key question is whether healthcare sectors are ready for self-diagnosis. Surely, the growing level of responsibility from patients will improve patient engagement, but do healthcare sectors have the capacity to attend to self-diagnosed patients, given that these diagnoses are clinically valid?
Consumerism in healthcare is about patients taking responsibility, not ownershipMarch 10, 2017The idea of digital health seems to represent a strong indication towards consumerism in healthcare – a notion that individuals take full ownership of their health, whether that is behavioral such as personal health monitoring, or quite literally e.g. ownership of medical records. Most of this represents little or no value in current time, because consumer ownership of healthcare does not change the engagement with the healthcare sector in any profound way. Surely there may be tons of health data stored somewhere in the care continuum, but it is neither applied in scale or meaningfully, nor is it considered to be so. There a many reasons for this including interoperability issues, workflow misalignment, lack of feasibility given current operational emphasis of healthcare providers, low quality data and many more.
Digital health presence at Mobile World Congress 2017March 10, 2017Connected health and the Internet of Medical Things (IOMT) have grown its presence in recent years at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This year’s focus was virtual reality (VR) applications in healthcare and the growing ecosystem of peripheral devices used for connected health monitoring.
Future technologies for old age go beyond the current scope of independent livingMarch 10, 2017Old age certainly brings its challenges in terms of wellbeing and overall health status. It affects the basic independence of people, limiting individuals in a variety of ways, and potentially disabling them in performing certain everyday tasks – that is at least the current perception of reaching old age. Despite creating millions of jobs in eldercare, the rapidly growing portion of the global population aged 65+, is causing a massive disequilibrium in supply and demand, for instance in Japan, where the ratio of an eldercare worker to an elder citizen is 1:4. Japan’s solution to this problem has been deploying robots, the so-called carebots, to serve a number of purposes including mobility, medication management, exercise, conversation and more. Honda, Panasonic and other major corporations are vested in this market.
A bumpy road ahead for the EMEA ultrasound market – Reflections from ECR 2017March 09, 2017The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) convened in Vienna on March 1–5 2017. ECR provided an opportunity for leaders in the ultrasound industry to meet and discuss the future of the region’s ultrasound market. The EMEA ultrasound market will face several barriers to growth in 2017. The upcoming presidential elections in Germany, France, and the Netherlands are already creating a lull in ultrasound system sales as these large governments prepare for transition. Shrinking budgets in both the public and private sectors are forcing healthcare providers to delay purchases of ultrasound systems, and increased competition from Asian-based manufacturers is causing additional disruption in the market.
Traditional ultrasound still dominates the global market, but non-traditional and point of care sales are trending upJanuary 05, 2017The way in which ultrasound systems are marketed and purchased across the world is changing. Increasingly, and especially in developed markets, ultrasound systems are being designed with a specific clinical application in mind. When ultrasound was first introduced as a medical imaging tool in the mid-20th century, healthcare providers used one system for all clinical applications.
Alexa… Am I healthy?January 04, 2017Technology providers are pushing voice assistants to become a bigger part of consumers’ lives, and given the growing connectivity of things, voice assistants is set to play an operator role to give full control to the user. Up until now, voice assistants have been part of consumer electronics whether it is Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Now or Microsoft’s Cortana. These interactive and sometimes intelligent applications are now making their way to healthcare.
Bose makes hearing aids that aren’t hearing aidsJanuary 04, 2017Bose, the audio equipment company, has developed a new device for better hearing called Hearphones – its first product for the digital health market. Hearphones is a personal sound amplification product (PSAP) and is therefore not a regulated medical device, as opposed to devices marketed as hearing aids. From a technical standpoint, the difference is not significant, but where PSAPs mainly serve the purpose of amplification, hearing aids, a $5 billion market, offer treatment for various types of disabling hearing loss including hearing loss across certain frequency ranges, tinnitus, and more.
Fitbit in trouble – partnering with Medtronic to increase clinical footprintJanuary 04, 2017The last month of calendar year 2016 was busy for Fitbit. The company announced the acquisition of Pebble – an acquisition to enhance its smartwatch products of the future. More interestingly, from a digital health point of view, a partnership with Medtronic was announced. The partnership focuses on integrating data from Fitbit devices in managing diabetes. Diabetics using Medtronic’s iPro myLog mobile app will be able to take in activity and sleep data from Fitbit devices with the purpose of understanding how these metrics affect overall blood glucose levels. Doing this allows for additional precision of managing diabetes in many ways, including providing better care coordination, adjusting drug dosages, and is also an additional avenue of engagement with the patient. So far in 2017, Fitbit has announced the integration of its devices with Qualcomm Life’s 2net platform to enable UnitedHealthcare Motion members using Fitbit activity monitors.
As software becomes more intelligent, perhaps clinicians do not need to beDecember 07, 2016An increasing number of people are demanding healthcare services. This increase in demand requires additional clinical staff to process the growing number of patients; however, there remains a lack of qualified personnel in the healthcare industry around the globe. Despite more people entering the healthcare field for employment, the most recent figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) show a shortage of approximately 7.2 million healthcare workers, and this figure is projected to reach as high as 12.9 million by 2035, which shows that the increase in healthcare personnel entering the workforce is insufficient in meeting the surge in demand.