The medical ultrasound systems market, with its developing handheld and portable technologies, grew to $6.5 billion in 2015, according to a recent report.

Ultrasound continues to be a low-cost and effective imaging technology that can help radiologists and other health care providers gather significant clinical data about patients, according to the report. Group practices and hospital departments are turning to advanced analytics tools for data to streamline their work flow and improve efficiency for ultrasound and other imaging modalities.

“Helping to fuel growth is miniaturization and the adoption of handheld and portable ultrasound systems, which have opened up new market niches for the imaging modality, such as emergency medicine and anesthesiology,” says Bruce Carlson, publisher of market research firm Kalorama Information. “Handheld ultrasound systems are easier to use and more convenient, for instance, when diagnosing patients with physical disabilities.”

With such developing technology, it becomes possible to clinically apply ultrasound as an initial diagnostic tool for identifying some diseases. In addition, ultrasound can reduce the cost and pain associated with treatment because a biopsy is not required, nor is the use of a radiocontrast agent as with CT or MRI.

Ultrasound is applied in an increasing variety of clinical settings, including obstetrics and gynecology, and cardiology. The growing list of medical ultrasound applications now includes the areas of oncology, urology, angiology, and ophthalmology. In addition to these areas, there is a growing use of ultrasound as a rapid imaging tool for diagnosis in emergency rooms.

For more information about the study, visit Kalorama Information.