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Ultrasound Equipment

4D ultrasound device makes headway in imaging

4D ultrasound device offers real benefits for the assessment of the fetus’s prenatal condition. It forms more convincing images of embryonic behavior than conventional 2D ultrasounds, and can closely examine suspected fetal anomalies more precisely.

Ultrasound equipment market has seen tremendous advancements and improvements in the last two decades. The market has witnessed the emergence and rapid development of numerous new ultrasound imaging technologies, such as ultrafast ultrasound imaging (e.g., plane-wave imaging, diverging imaging), elasticity imaging (e.g., acoustic radiation force impulse imaging, shear-wave elastography, strain imaging), high-sensitivity microvascular imaging, high-frequency imaging, functional ultrasound imaging, and super-resolution ultrasound localization microscopy. Some of these novel technologies have been extensively studied and are broadly available in commercial scanners to benefit patient care, while others are still under active development. Undoubtedly, the advancement in ultrasound is leading to new opportunities in both basic research and clinical applications.

While the development of novel ultrasound technologies is inspiring, significant challenges remain to be addressed. These include both technical aspects (such as technical robustness and validation, computational burden regarding real-time imaging, temporal and spatial resolution improvement, signal-to-noise ratio improvement, artifact suppression), and scientific and clinical aspects (such as finding novel biomedical applications, clinical usefulness validation, feasibility, and reproducibility evaluation).

The Indian ultrasound equipment market, is poised to see the high-end segment constitute maximum share over the next two years. While buyer preferences are moving from premium to high-end models, the mid- and entry-level customers are also either upgrading or replacing their systems in favor of high-end models. And manufacturers, in response, are launching high-end models.

The market in 2021 is estimated at ₹1450 crore, by value. In line with the distinct shift from the mid- and entry-level machines to the more superior models, the market saw a 29.46-percent increase by value over 2020, with a miniscule increase in units procured. And yet, the premium models were side-lined in favor of the high-end ones. The market estimate includes the refurbished machines, a ₹45-crore segment in 2020. Portable machines continued to gain popularity. The black-and-white models are seeing demand shrinking, with buying restricted by selected government facilities or for veterinary use.

Indian ultrasound equipment market

Major vendors*

Tier I

Tier II

Tier III

Tier IV


GE Philips Mindray & Samsung Sonoscape, FUJIFILM Sonosite, BPL, bionet, Trivitron, and Toshiba Konica and Esaote
*Vendors are placed in different tiers on the basis of their sales contribution to the overall revenues of the Indian ultrasound equipment market.
ADI Media Research

By type, the cart/trolley-based machines continued to dominate with an 81.45-percent share, and the balance 18.55-percent was contributed by the compact machines.

GE continues to dominate this market with a huge lead over Philips, the next in the chain. Mindray and Samsung are neck-to-neck, and in 2021 closed the gap with Philips. While Mindray made inroads into referral centers, Samsung’s cardiovascular ultrasound machines did well, and the brand continued with its efforts to shift the users’ perception of being a premium brand. BPL, Sonoscape, Trivitron (Hitachi and SonoRad), Bionet, and Sonosite are aggressive players. Other brands that have presence include Esaote and Konica, and some Chinese brands. Following the completion of FujiFilm Corporation’s acquisition of Hitachi Ltd.’s diagnostic imaging business, Hitachi has changed its name to FujiFilm Healthcare Americas Corporation, effective July 1, 2021.

The buyers that made a difference and contributed to the huge growth were either the referral centers, with the key opinion leaders (KOLs) being sought for their interpretation skills, or the fresh graduate doctors. To name a few referral center buyers in 2021, Thane Ultra Sound Center, Thane West, Thane, Mumbai; The-Ria-Clinic, Gamdevi, Mumbai; MediScan Systems, Mylapore, Chennai; and Abhishek Scanning Center, Begumpet, Hyderabad.

The corporate hospital chains that had stayed away in 2021 are expected to make their procurements in 2022, albeit an 18–20 percent increase in the market is not expected. GE’s acquisition of December 21, 2021, of BK Medical, and how the company’s active imaging technology is accepted by the Indian market, will be interesting to watch. Currently, GenWorks markets the company’s products in Tier-II and Tier-III cities while the GE team focuses on Tier-I cities. Also, with the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), the online procurement platform for government bodies, now making it mandatory for sellers to mention the country of origin, while registering all new products, a move seen as an attempt by the government to restrict products made in China, may also have an impact on brand shares.

4D ultrasound technology has recently been introduced in the medical practice and complements 2D and 3D medical examinations by obtaining the images in real time. The appropriate use of imaging in pregnancy is essential for the prompt investigation and management of chronic medical symptoms. Like regular ultrasounds, 4D ultrasounds make use of sound waves to create an image of the baby in the mother’s womb.

With the introduction of 4D ultrasound devices, the parents are now able to see their baby in full vision. Such ultrasounds are safe for both the baby and the mother, and can be performed vaginally and abdominally. Vaginal 4D ultrasounds are suitable during the first weeks of gestation as it provides clear picture of abdominal pathway.

It helps to measure whether cervix is suspected at being at risk of miscarriage or other threat of preterm labor or not. On the other hand, abdominal 4D ultrasounds are suitable between 27 and 32 weeks of pregnancy.

Technological advances are paving the way for smaller and more dynamic imaging systems. Smart fusion technologies have synchronized ultrasound imaging with MRI or CT scan, and new advancements, such as the Aplio 500’s Fly Thru imaging technology are allowing ultrasound systems to explore interior, fluid-filled ducts and vessels after or during an examination.

Pregnancy diagnostics falls under a critical application extent of ultrasound imaging technology. As parents continue to grow more concerned about radiation dosage, associated with diagnostic imaging tests, manufacturers of ultrasound systems strive to make the selection of appropriate imaging test uncomplicated.

Ultrasound systems have emerged to become a sought-after imaging tool for diagnosing a pregnant woman, so hospitals are always exploring new ways to boost the adoption of pregnancy sonography.

4D ultrasound – not for the frugal. This groundbreaking ultrasound imaging device can scan a fetus right from six weeks of the woman’s pregnancy. Doctors and parents can touch these 3D models to understand developments in the fetus or the child’s body in real time.

Older ultrasound systems are exhibiting compatibility issues by showing one–two seconds of time lag while adapting to this 4D ultrasound imaging technology. While all fetuses look similar, the demand for this imaging service is expected to gain traction in the later months of a woman’s pregnancy, when the unborn child’s body is distinctly evolved.

There’s all but one major drawback in opting for this service – its price. The process, itself, costs around USD 380, and parents have to pay additional price for taking the models home.

Considering the backdrop of outright preference to ultrasound imaging in pregnancy diagnostics, witnessed throughout the globe, such advanced and expensive procedures are most likely to boost the expansion of global ultrasound systems market, which is pegged to surpass USD 7.8 billion in value by the end of 2022.

Moreover, capitalizing on the idea that parents will be urged to treasure these modelled baby faces, the private hospitals are also asking parents to shell an additional USD 760 for taking home a set of 3D models of their child’s face.

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