GE Leads in Ultrasound Market: Report

A report by the Millennium Research Group shows that GE Healthcare was the leader in the ultrasound market for 2009 and is poised for strong growth through 2014 over Philips and Siemens.

Millennium Research Group has released a report, "U.S. Markets for Ultrasound Systems 2010," showing GE Healthcare as the leader in the $1.2 billion U.S. ultrasound market in 2009, with robust growth forecasted through 2014.

The ultrasound market comprises products used for anesthesia, emergency medicine, vascular access, surgery and critical care.

This market will have stronger gains over the next five years than traditional radiology and cardiology ultrasound, MRG reports.

GE has focused on both of these areas, according to the firm, moving up to a 27 percent market share in emerging ultrasound for 2009, up from 10 percent in 2007, according to Isuru Silva, an analyst at MRG.

"GE is gaining share over Philips and Siemens since they have a strong presence in the slow growth mature ultrasound markets-for example, radiology and cardiology-and are also realizing significant growth in the fastest growing market of emerging ultrasound," Silva wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK. "This is in contrast to Philips and Siemens, whose strong presence is primarily limited to the mature markets."

GE products such as LOGIQ E9 and Venue 40 have led to the market's growth, Silva noted. He explained that they facilitate procedures for physicians such as anesthesia and gaining vascular access.

The LOGIQ E9 has a beamformer that alters the reality of what a patient looks like and provides uniformity of images from the near to far end, despite varying patient body types, according to GE. In addition, a TruScan architecture allows for the optimum flexibility with raw image data, GE reports.

"We've long believed that GE Healthcare's ultrasound products, from the full-featured LOGIQ E9 to the pocket-size Vscan, can be used by a wide variety of clinicians in their practices as they turn to ultrasound technology for its ease of use and simplicity," a GE spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK.

The GE Venue 40 ultrasound line provides visual guidance on needle procedures and rapid diagnostics at the patient's bedside in real time, according to GE.

The Venue 40 line includes models for Vascular Access, Anesthesia, Interventional (for biopsy guidance), Point of Care and Musculoskeletal for monitoring rheumatoid arthritis or sports injuries to the muscle, joint or tendon.

"Systems dedicated to particular applications are growing in popularity, as they are designed to meet the specific needs and skill set of doctors (including those with minimal ultrasound experience) in these particular fields," MRG's Silva wrote.

To compile the research, analysts at MRG interviewed many industry experts in the U.S. ultrasound market. "They aim to speak to a large percentage of the market by market share, to gain an accurate depiction of trends in the market, and what factors are driving and limiting the growth in each of these markets," Silva explained.

GE, Philips and Siemens also compete in the area of computed tomography (CT) colonography technology. A report by the Mayo Clinic in June found that GE's software-based medical technique Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction, or ASIR, cuts radiation from colonography scanners by 50 percent.