State of the Technology
While focused ultrasound is currently in the early stages of development and adoption, it has the potential to transform the treatment of a variety of serious medical conditions.
All indicators point toward the evolution of this platform technology into a robust medical field, with the pace of research and development, publications, patient treatments and the number of device manufacturers all increasing rapidly in the past few years.
Research, Development, and Commercialization
Some applications of the technology are approved for commercial use and are available in medical treatment centers around the world. Other uses are still undergoing research, with opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials at leading medical research institutions. Even more potential uses of the technology are in the early stages of technical research.
The following charts summarize the state of research and regulatory approval of focused ultrasound for over 100 medical conditions around the globe.
Status by disease category
Medical Literature and Scientific Exchange
The volume of peer-reviewed publications on focused ultrasound research has increased exponentially in the last decade, with nearly 2,000 articles published in 2017. Additionally, there have been more than 300,000 citations of focused ultrasound publications. The number of papers presented at scientific meetings is also on the rise.
There are currently more than 50 companies located around the globe manufacturing focused ultrasound systems with a range of guidance systems and specialization.
The past several years have seen a significant growth in the number of indications under investigation for treatment using focused ultrasound. The most pronounced growth has been in areas of reserach for neurological, oncological, and musculoskeletal (including pain) applications.
Research Site Growth and by Region
There have been more than 215,000 patients treated with focused ultrasound, and 73% of these treatments have been for prostate diseases and uterine fibroids. Though brain treatments make up only a small portion of the total, the range of brain conditions treated is indicative of where the field is headed.