Korea develops ultrasound-guided HIFU apparatus for 1st time in its history

As many as 300,000 Korean patients of uterine myoma are expected to take the opportunity to receive treatment quickly and effectively with local equipment from this year.

Alpinion Medical Systems, a company specializing in ultrasound medical devices and a subsidiary of Iljin Group, said last year that it has developed a treatment apparatus utilizing High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) and has recently given final permission of medical appliances in the manufacturing list by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

Some Korean companies including Alpinion and Samsung Medison have already developed and sold ‘ultrasound imaging apparatus’ for diagnosis of diseases but this is the first time for Korea to develop the HIFU apparatus which needs far higher technical skills with local technology. About 20 medical device manufacturers around the world tried to develop the HIFU apparatus but a few global companies such as GE and Philips succeeded in releasing the product on the market because of high technical barriers.

The product can get rid of tumors from diseased areas of a uterine myoma patient, which helps the reduction of unnecessary total hysterectomy. In particular, Alpinion has raised anticipations of possible time and cost savings as it applied ultrasound-guided method instead of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)- guided method used by most of its competitors.

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