May 22, 2007 — The U.S. ultrasound market, accounting for about 30 percent of the worldwide market, hit a record $1.33 billion in 2006, according to a report just published by Klein Biomedical Consultants Inc. (KBC), the industry's leading consultants in the field. Although product revenues rose a respectable 5.3 percent, a 23 percent drop in upgrades reduced the overall market growth to only 2.6 percent. The cardiology ultrasound market segment surpassed total radiology ultrasound revenues including upgrades for the first time in 2006.
"While cardiology ultrasound product revenues grew over 11 percent, the other three traditional markets — radiology, OB/GYN and vascular surgery — showed little, if any change," said Harvey Klein, Ph.D., KBC president. "Traditional markets accounted for 60 percent of total product sales growth in 2006 while emerging markets contributed the remaining 40 percent.
"The emerging markets grew twice as fast as the overall ultrasound market in product revenues. Such markets as emergency medicine and anesthesiology showed excellent growth. This resulted from strong demand for hand-carried ultrasound (HCU) systems, a market that grew 30 percent."
Klein reported that the leaders in the overall market, including upgrades, were Philips Medical Systems followed by GE Healthcare, Siemens Medical Solutions and SonoSite. In product revenues alone, however, GE was the market leader followed by Philips. The Philips' iE33 echocardiography system became the top selling product in the U.S. market in the year 2006.
The report, The Medical Diagnostic Ultrasound Market in the USA; Challenges & Opportunities in the New Millennium, 2006, provides a market forecast through 2011. During this time, the market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 5.8 percent and reach $1.76 billion by 2011. While Klein believes traditional markets will grow slowly at a rate of less than three percent, emerging markets, although significantly smaller, will grow over 16 percent. Sales of PDA-type, hand-operated ultrasound systems could contribute almost one percent to the growth rate of the overall market. Klein predicts the market leaders in product revenues in 2009 will be in order, GE, Philips, Siemens and SonoSite, the same order as in 2006.