Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer and the second leading cause of death among women, as evident from stats revealed by the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Growing awareness of breast cancer has increased number of women undergoing breast screening and in turn would propel demand for automated breast ultrasound systems (ABUS) in hospitals and diagnostic centers. ABUS enables physicians to screen women, especially with denser breasts and provides superior image quality, thus providing them a competitive edge over handheld ultrasound systems (HHUS)
Regulatory approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for using automated breast ultrasound systems (ABUS) as an adjunct with mammography in screening women with dense breasts has augmented market growth. ABUS with better sensitivity enables screening of small tumors in women with dense breasts. Furthermore, use of ABUS in preoperative evaluation is projected to be one of the major driving factors for these systems. Providers need to focus on reducing costs, while rate of false positives can be significantly reduced through proper training of device operators. GE Healthcare offers FDA-required onsite training to technologists and radiologists for using the ABUS system. Other market players also need to practice customer engagement activities and provide additional services to their customers in order to sustain the market competition.
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Advancements in automated breast ultrasound systems (ABUS) has propelled demand for handheld ultrasound system (HHUS), which is expected to drive market growth over the forecast period. Recent past has witnessed high demand for ABUS from physician to improve efficiency of diagnosis, owing to various features offered by ABUS such as high quality 3D images, reduced screening time, and the ability to screen dense breast tissues and small tumors effectively.
In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved GE’s Invenia ABUS for using it as a supplementary product with mammogram in breast cancer diagnosis, which has increased the adoption of ABUS among hospitals for screening of breasts cancer. Furthermore, high prevalence of breast cancer is a major factor driving growth of the market. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer were reported in the U.S. As per the estimates of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, the highest incidence of breast cancers were reported in Philippines, with a mammoth increase of 589% in breast cancer cases reported over a period of 30-years (1980 – 2010).
Furthermore, high adoption of ABUS is accelerating preoperative evaluation of tumors. Various studies are being conducted to establish the benefits of using ABUS in preoperative application. In January 2016, a trial was conducted by the University of Zurich for preoperative evaluation of breast cancer using ABUS in women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Favorable outcomes of such studies are expected to further expand the scope for ABUS in preoperative evaluation, which in turn is expected to drive growth of the market.
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ABUS is majorly adopted in developed economies such as the U.S., Australia, Japan, the U.K., and Canada. However, high costs of installing ABUS and low number of women opting for early breast screening is restraining growth of the market in emerging economies.
Automated breast ultrasound systems manufacturers are following inorganic strategies to increase their footprint
Inorganic growth roadmap is the key strategy followed by market leaders. For instance, GE Healthcare acquired U-Systems, Inc. in 2014 to expand their breast care innovations portfolio. Philips partnered with SonoCine, Inc. in 2014 to provide ABUS imaging for its ultrasound systems. Hitachi Aloka Medical America, Inc. entered into a strategic alliance with iVu Imaging Corporation in 2014, gaining exclusive distribution rights for iVu’s SOFIA (ABUS) system in North America. This agreement helped iVu Imaging Corporation to get access to the expanded channel and also helped both the companies to leverage the technical expertise of the other which further improved the performance of SOFIA.
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