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Focused ultrasound and metrics of diffusion of disruptive medical innovation
  1. I Jonathan Pomeraniec1,2,
  2. Robert Spekman2,
  3. Neal Kassell1,2
  1. 1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
  2. 2Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Neal Kassell, Focused Ultrasound Foundation, 1230 Cedars Comt, Charlottesville 22903, VA, USA; nkassell{at}


Innovation, as a concept in healthcare, has broad implications ranging from diagnosis to treatment of disease. The advent of new surgical modalities and medical devices continues to refine and reshape the provision of care for millions of patients across the world. Despite the tangible promise of such innovation, there remains a dearth of frameworks to understand how and how much progress has been made, particularly with regard to early-stage, non-invasive therapeutic technologies that have the potential to transform the treatment of medical disorders. A chief example of this is provided by MR-guided Focused Ultrasound. To the best of our knowledge, there are no prior reviews of the factors affecting adoption and diffusion of MR-guided Focused Ultrasound as a proxy for disruptive medical technologies. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive set of metrics to measure the factors affecting the rate of adoption and diffusion of these medical technologies with special focus on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound, Gamma Knife radiosurgery, and the da Vinci system. The authors review background information and literature regarding innovation in medical technology, and what constitutes disruptive innovation in the medical field. Metrics of adoption and diffusion are evaluated and applied to MR-guided Focused Ultrasound. Gamma Knife radiosurgery and the da Vinci system provide reasonable proxy technologies to understand the factors affecting the adoption and diffusion of MR-guided Focused Ultrasound. With a more comprehensive set of metrics to measure the rate of uptake and use of disruptive technology, we might move towards a better understanding of the limitations of new and potentially beneficial therapeutic modalities.

  • Focused ultrasound
  • Disruptive innovation
  • Delivery
  • Economics
  • Metrics

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