The Competitive Bladder Scanning Market: Looking Beyond Verathon

Bladder Scanner SystemA bladder scanner is a medical device that utilizes ultrasound to noninvasively measure the amount of urine in the bladder or to determine the amount of urine remaining in the bladder after urination. The type of scanner is a niche ultrasound system that provides fast and reliable information to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of urological conditions, access urinary retention, prevents unnecessary catheterization and reduces incidents of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Although general purpose ultrasound equipment can measure bladder volume, the size and expense involved make it inconvenient for regular use at the bedside due. Bladder scanner systems are typically utilized by nurses and do not require a trained sonographer. Bladder scanning is used in acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care markets. The equipment is used to assess bladder volume, urinary retention and post-voidal residual volume in postoperative patients with decreased urine output and patients with UTIs, urinary incontinence, enlarged prostate, urethral stricture, neurogenic bladder and other lower urinary tract dysfunctions. It can also be used for patients with spinal cord injuries, stroke, diabetes and mental handicaps. Additional uses include evaluation of bladder function in nursing home residents to monitor UTIs, urinary incontinence, urinary retention and bladder dysfunction associated with medical conditions.

During the time MD Buyline has tracked the bladder scan market in the Price Paid Database, Verathon has been the primary player in the market and has faced little competition over the years. Customers have been very pleased with the technology provided by the company and believe they offer a strong product line, but we’ve been asked several times about competitive systems to the Verathon BVI product line.

As happens in the U.S. healthcare market, competitive systems have slowly been developed, tested and now are marketed. Although Verathon continues to be the market leader in bladder scanner quotation activity customers have other options. The following vendors and some distributors provide competitive bladder scanning systems:

  • Direct Supply – Attendant Bladder Scanner
  • Laborie Medical Technologies – BladderVu Portable 3D
  • MMS Medical Measurement Systems – Scanmaster PC Based Ultrasound Bladder Scanner
  • Mediwatch – Portascan 3D Bladderscanner
  • Medline – BioCon CUBEscan 700
  • SRS Medical – UroScan B3.5 Ultrasound System

In the last 12 months, while MD Buyline has received 200 quotes for Verathon bladder scanners, quotes from competitive systems has been significantly less active- around 10 to 20 over the past 12 months. Verathon continues to dominate, but there are competitive opportunities and customers should evaluate the market with side by side equipment demonstrations, quotation comparison and review the total cost of ownership taking into account warranties offered, service costs and consumable costs.

While MD Buyline does not gather or track user ratings for this technology, customer have inquired about competitive systems, as a result, of the cost of calibrations and service post-warranty and were not related concerns about equipment performance or the technology.

Jon Brubaker, MBA, RCVT
Jon Brubaker, MBA, RCVT, Clinical Analyst — Mr. Brubaker joined MD Buyline in 1994 with over 30 years of experience in the field of cardiology and ultrasound. He covers noninvasive cardiology technologies (e.g., ECG, cardiac stress test, Holter monitor and cardiology management systems), as well as all ultrasound technologies (e.g., diagnostic imaging and cardiac or echocardiography). He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and later obtained his MBA. Mr. Brubaker holds a registry as an RSCPT (Registered Cardiopulmonary Technologist) in noninvasive and invasive Cardiology and is a member of the American Heart Association and the American Society of Echocardiography.