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According to Persistence the ultrasound devices market for diagnostic and therapeutic applications was estimated to be worth $6,515 million in 2012 and is expected to reach $8,637 million in 2017, growing at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2013 to 2017.

Cost of cart-based and trolley-based devices is one of the primary causes of delay in purchase decisions for clinics and hospitals particularly in Asia. Most of these countries do not have the annual healthcare expenditure budget as much as countries in the western hemisphere. Hence device manufacturers will find market opportunity in mid and low level US systems.

Although ultrasound is a safer technique, it does have challenges with image quality. The demand for 2D ultrasound technology is on a decline in major applications such as gynecology due to increasing demand for more advanced and effective 3D&4D ultrasound devices. The level of demand is consistent in developing regions such as Asia, Latin America and Africa as it is in developed regions. Also, the use of black & white 2D ultrasound is still adequate in medical community since most technicians and physicians are quite proficient with operating 2D machines. Regional Anesthesia is an emerging application for ultrasound. Major drivers are availability of affordable compact and hand-held devices for quick scans; real-time imaging can be done with a view of moving internal anatomy, very affordable procedure cost. Restraints are that 2D cannot perform volumetric analysis in shape and size of fetus, tumor, eyes, fetal bone abnormalities, placement of biopsy needles among others.

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Most therapeutic ultrasound devices that have recently entered the market still have to ascertain clinical efficacy. Several companies have already gained significant progress such as Gynesonics in California that received European Union’s CE approval for its VizAblate. The therapeutic ultrasound devices in many other segments such as renal denervation ablation is yet not clearly understood and commercialized. Thus technological challenges and regulatory approvals are proving to be high impact inhibitors on this market. The therapeutic segment is expected to have intense rivalry with increasing success in new products, particularly with demand of minimally invasive procedures. Current market players are expected to gain product approval in the next few years which will only increase competition.

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