Esaote: Pioneering Advancements in Ultrasound and Dedicated MRI Systems
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Franco Fontana, CEO
For a company that started from scratch in the early eighties to venture into the non-invasive medical imaging space, Esaote’s story is quite unusual, to say the least. Back then, non-invasive medical imaging was rather, an uncharted territory, from both business and innovation standpoints. However, that did not deter Esaote vision to bring out positive effects on people’s quality of life and contribute to life-science progress. The company was all set to focus on building non-invasive products and solutions based on ultrasound, dedicated MRI, and, later on, Medical IT. In these last forty years, Esaote has steadily grown to become one of the main imaging players in its market by keeping to the vision that was conceived at the foundation.
Today, Esaote is one of the six largest ultrasound system manufacturers in the world by volume, with more than 130,000 portable and cart-based units installed globally. “In the path that we have been running so far, we learned that both innovation and responsibility represent the same concept. They revolve around the capacity to find new answers by taking actions that look ahead in the future. Our vision is—More in Less,” says Franco Fontana, the CEO of Esaote. In addition to their scientific and clinical advances, Esaote has always focused on coming up with flexible systems with a high degree of configuration that adhered to users’ preferences. This turned out to be an aspect that its customers appreciated most as distinctive Italian style and design.
While the market experiences a robust growth driven by advances in image quality, technologies such as AI, as well as miniaturization, the ultrasounds space has evolved in the past decade and adopted in more specialty departments such as point of care, breast, neurosurgery, vascular, urology and even veterinary. “Innovation must be flexible to succeed in the changing healthcare environment: just remember that it was an Esaote ultrasound system that was first sent into orbit on the NASA Space Shuttles,” prides Fontana. With an outlook and appreciation to innovation, Esaote has invested into AI applications that exploit technologies such as deep learning algorithms to reshape workflows, improve the speed and accuracy of images’ analysis while reducing variability among users.
It was an Esaote ultrasound system that was first sent into orbit on the NASA Space Shuttles
“The role of physicians is central, and AI would support rather than replace them,” adds Fontana. The company also believes that its devices will gain more room for disease prevention and intervention due to increased image quality and miniaturization.
What differentiates Esaote is its relentless pursuit toward innovation. The company reinvests 10 percent of its turnover in R & D, which accounts for 20 percent of its human resources. Esaote partners with leading research centers to identify innovative approaches even in side disciplines such as materials, tools, design. Although each discipline is specific and unique, the synergy between the three is bringing a competitive advantage to Esaote. This is the strategic sweet-spot that Esaote aims to tap into, to ultimately unlock capabilities pertaining to image fusion, advanced clinical applications based on AI, image quality and post-processing, and optimized workflow.
The company was pivotal in introducing its Interventional Imaging solution, where images from other modalities like MRI/CT/PET are fused with ultrasound to increase guiding accuracy in tumor ablation and removal. During Covid-19, Esaote has been in the front line with the healthcare providers with its powerful compact ultrasounds used at the bedside with the highest safety conditions. “As a leading industry in this market, Esaote feels its role to be central even at providing qualitative and quantitative data to support decision makers when planning for re-organization of their services,” mentions Fontana.
In MRI, Esaote was the first to launch open MRI systems dedicated to knee, shoulder, and limbs to guarantee claustrophobic-free imaging for patients who cannot enter the closed gantry of traditional MRI. The company also developed a unique MRI product to study the spine in orthostasis. As such, some pathologies that are hard to be detected in a supine position can now be found. For the next five years, Esaote has an ambitious plan to expand its business further through the launch of new innovative platforms. “We seek for highest growth in strategic markets like China and the Americas but are also well prepared with differentiated proposals to properly answer the need of other regions,” concludes Fontana.
Description Esaote is one of the six largest Ultrasound system in the world by volume, with more than 130,000 portable and cart-based units installed globally. Besides scientific and clinical advances, Esaote has always focused on flexible systems with a high degree of configuration and users’ preferences. This is what its customers appreciated most as distinctive Italian style and design. During Covid-19, Esaote has been in the front-line with the healthcare providers with its powerful compact ultrasounds to be used at the bed side with the highest safety conditions. The company was pivotal in introducing its Interventional Imaging solution where images from other modalities like MRI/CT/PET are fused with Ultrasound to increase guiding accuracy in tumor ablation and removal
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