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.

The Foundation produces its own State of the Field Report each year to chart the technology's progress around the world. Read the 2016 Report > 

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 50 medical conditions around the globe.

Status by disease category

Rainbow 1.6.17


Status by development stage

Rainbow by adoption 10 2016

Medical Literature and Scientific Exchange

The volume of peer-reviewed publications on focused ultrasound research has been increasing exponentially in the last 10 years, with nearly 500 articles published in 2014. In addition, the number of citations in the literature has also increased dramatically, with 14,000 in 2015.


Scientific Exchange

The number of papers presented at scientific meetings has been on the rise, particularly with conferences that are dedicated to focused ultrasound.

Expanding Industry

There are currently 32 companies located around the globe that are dedicated to the research and manufacturing of focused ultrasound systems with a range of guidance systems and specialization. This innovative industry is very young, with only five established by the year 2000 and the remaining established since then.


Global Adoption

There are over 450 commercial focused ultrasound treatment sites around the globe, with a majority in Europe and Asia.

Commercial Sites By Region

Research Sites by Region

There are more than 250 research sites around the globe. 

Patients Treated

There have been more than 115,000 patients treated with focused ultrasound.  A majority of patients treated have had prostate cancer, followed by uterine fibroids and liver cancer.  

Clinical Indications

The number of diseases treated by focused ultrasound has increased from just a couple of conditions before the 1990s to 35 in 2015, and several others are expected to be available in the near future.