Bone sonometer is also called as bone densitometry equipment in which sound waves on interaction with bone tissue gives information about elastic and structural properties of tissue. Bone faces slow degradation over period of time by microscopic fracture, fatigue damage, loss of bone mass with aging or nutritional deficiency at birth. By assessing bone health, bone sonometer can predict the risk for osteoporosis and fracture due to this condition. Various peripheral skeletal sites that can be assessed with bone sonometer include calcaneus, phalanges of the hand, and tibia. In addition, it can also assess the structural and biomechanical properties of bones that contribute to bone strength.
Bone sonometer is comparatively safer technique against other densitometry equipment such as dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and peripheral quantitative computed tomography, which causes exposure to ionizing radiation. It is also simple to use and easy to move due to portability features. Moreover, bone sonometer measures bone in two dimensions, providing only an estimation of bone density. It is used to check mineral status in all age groups including children, adults, and geriatric population.
The global bone sonometer market size was valued at US$ 864.3 million in 2017, and is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.32% over the forecast period (2018 – 2026).
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Increasing incidence of fracture due to osteoporosis would be major reason for growth of the bone sonometer market. According to International Osteoporosis Foundation statistics in 2017, over 8.9 million fractures are caused due to osteoporosis, annually. Furthermore, according to same source, around 200 million postmenopausal women suffer from osteoporosis, globally. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, around 25% women aged 65 and above were suffering from osteoporosis of the femur neck or lumbar spine, and needed treatment. Such instances will in turn fuel growth of the bone sonometer market.
However, growth of bone sonometer market may be restrained majorly due to wider adoption of other scanning technique such as dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. These instruments are widely available and it takes short scanning time as against the quantitative ultrasound devices such as bone sonometer. Various new dual energy X-ray absorptiometry products are launched, which may hinder growth of the bone sonometer market. There is logical corollary between innovation in bone sonometer products and growth of the bone sonometer market, especially in developed regions such as North America and Europe that already has one of the highest per capita expenditure and strong healthcare infrastructure.
Most of the key manufacturers of bone sonometer are focusing on providing portable models, which can be easily connected with computers and digital platforms, take less amount of examination time, and easy to carry anywhere. Pegasus Smart is one such bone sonometer by DMS imaging, which takes only about one second to examine bone density at peripheral bones. It can store up to 300 examination images and these images can be transferred to laptop or computer on permanent workstation such as electronic health record or population health management, for easy access. Some devices offer age group specific configuration (neonatal, pediatric, and adults) and multisite density scanning as against traditional bone sonometer that is mostly used at calcaneus and phalanges.
Moreover, according to the analysis by Coherent Market Insights, increasing number of geriatric population worldwide, is expected to propel growth of the bone sonometer market. Geriatric populations are the most affected age group from bone fracture due to lowered bone density level. Early estimation of bone health could significantly save incidence of fractures. According to the World Population Prospects Report, published in 2017, the worldwide population is advancing toward higher age group. In 2017, an estimated 962 million people were aged 60 years or over, which comprised 13% of the population, worldwide. Moreover, the number is expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2025, registering a growth of around three percent, annually.
Key players operating in the global bone sonometer market include Hologic, Inc., GE Healthcare, Echolight, DMS Imaging, Osteocys Co. Ltd., BeamMed Ltd., Medilink, and Furuno Electric Co., Ltd.
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