NICE has developed a Medtech Innovation Briefing (MIB) on Aixplorer ShearWave Elastography for ultrasound imaging and assessing suspicious breast lesions.

The Aixplorer system's ShearWave Elastography mode adds qualitative and quantitative elasticity data to 2D and 3D ultrasound imaging, for characterising breast lesions and detecting breast cancer. Tumour tissue in the breast tends to exhibit increased stiffness (lower elasticity) compared with surrounding normal glandular and fatty soft tissue.

Medtech Innovation Briefings provide a description of the medical technology, including its likely place in therapy, the costs of using the technology and a critical review of the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant published evidence.

Their purpose is to provide objective information on device and diagnostic technologies to aid local decision-making by clinicians, managers and procurement professionals. By making this information available, NICE helps to avoid the need for NHS organisations to produce similar information for local use.

Medtech Innovation Briefings are not NICE guidance. They differ in format, contain no judgement on the value of the technology and do not constitute a guidance recommendation.

MIBs are commissioned by NHS England and produced in support of the NHS 5 Year Forward View, specifically as one of a number of steps which will accelerate innovation in new treatments and diagnostics.