February 2013 894

Portable Ultrasound is Expected to Grow at a Steady Pace

Nikhil HiremathNikhil Hiremath
MD, Anesthesia, Inamdar Hospital

It is true that the accuracy of the ultrasound technique and results also rely on one’s skills, experience, education and training

How opportune is Indian ultrasound market in terms of growth? What is the percentage of growth in recent years?

Due to an increased investment in the healthcare infrastructure, the market of portable ultrasound equipment is growing across the dimensions of the country. It is expected to grow at a steady pace.

What are the common usages of ultrasound in India? How crucial is the role of an ultrasound report in treating a patient?

The use of Point-of-Care (POC) ultrasound is not limited to departments traditionally focused on clinical imaging. With technological advancements, point-of-care ultrasound systems have found wide applications such as emergency, critical care, anaesthesiology, sports medicine, pain management, rheumatology, paediatric, dermatology, surgery, oncology, cardiology, and trauma etc are relying on it for diagnosis and assistance with clinical procedures. Indeed, portable units have made the cost for ultrasound technology affordable to more healthcare providers overall, including numerous hospitals and medical facilities throughout India. Point-of-Care ultrasound has many proven advantages. This technology has the potential to transform the way in which Critical Care Units (CCUs) function. By consolidating and speeding up healthcare delivery as well as minimising patient transports, such technologies can significantly improve patient safety, reduce costly hospital stays, and enhance
healthcare quality.

What are the market segments of ultrasound machines in India? Which segment is dominating the market?

Traditional applications dominate the Indian ultrasound market; for example in the year 2011, cardiology, radiology and obstetrics and gynecology together were estimated to account for 87 percent of revenues. While, trauma also continues to be one of the major causes of death in India, and the country is beginning to recognise the need to address this crisis. In every ten minutes, one Indian dies on the road and ten others get injured. Amongst them, 7 to 10 percent are critically injured, and about 30 percent are disabled for life, either partially or totally.

Is it true that the accuracy of ultrasound reports is mostly dependent on the skill of the practioners? In this regard, how Indian medical colleges have been offering courses?

Learning a new ultrasound technique or procedure can be challenging and it is true that the accuracy of the ultrasound technique and results also rely on one’s skills, experience, education and training.  Courses are designed to teach those who have little or no experience in the use of ultrasound in their daily practice.

What is your take on the heavy import duty costs on ultrasound machines in India? What are your suggestions to deal with the situation?

Import duties on ultrasound scanners have increased over the period in India. This cost is passed on to the end customers and patients. All such restraints and challenges hamper the purchase of the equipments.

What are the new technology advancements in the ultrasound space?

The most talked about technological trends in the market are the miniaturisation of ultrasound probes.

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