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EMSCULPT dominates HIFEM muscle stimulation market

Article-EMSCULPT dominates HIFEM muscle stimulation market

Sponsored by BTL Industries

The niche of muscle stimulation has been dominated by EMSCULPT® from BTL Industries Inc. (Boston, Mass.), since its inception, warding off potential competitors and still delivering efficacious non-invasive muscular sculpting, without consumables. As pioneers of high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) procedures, with more than 20 years of research and experience in the field of electromagnetic energy (eight years with HIFEM itself), BTL has catapulted EMSCULPT to the top of its industry-leading family of body contouring technologies, each of which feature unique, but complementary capabilities.

EMSCULPT is intended for improvement of abdominal tone, strengthening of the abdominal muscles, development of a firmer abdomen; strengthening, toning and firming of buttocks, thighs and calves; and improvement of muscle tone and firmness, for strengthening muscles in arms.

“EMSCULPT is a revolution in aesthetic medicine because it is both functional and aesthetic,” said urologist Judson Brandeis, MD, an expert in sexual medicine and male rejuvenation in San Ramon, Calif. “It allows you to build strength and improve appearance rapidly. Beauty fades quickly if the underlying musculature and body structure are weak. Even if you don’t have the time or energy to get to the gym, you can effortlessly build a strong core that converts into a posture that is seen as beautiful and confident.”

According to Dr. Brandeis, the EMSCULPT device uses a focused electromagnetic current to induce supramaximal contractions over the course of a treatment session.

“EMSCULPT’s unique algorithms control the delivery of electromagnetic current throughout treatment, varying the speed and intensity of contractions in a manner designed to provide thorough stimulation to every muscle in the target area,” he said.

“When we look at a bicep, it is two muscles, but the core is an interconnected system of muscles that is much more complicated to treat comprehensively,” Dr. Brandeis elaborated. “The EMSCULPT algorithm selectively trains even the small muscles that might be overlooked in a manual exercise regimen. Thus, the overall effect is a thorough workout for the targeted muscles that far exceeds what could be achieved via manual exercise alone. The higher-than-normal workload induces a localized energy demand that stimulates regional metabolism, which has been shown by research to cause fat cell apoptosis.1 This dual tissue remodeling effect makes it the only device that simultaneously reduces fat2 and thickens underlying musculature.”3 The recommended protocol for EMSCULPT is four, 30-minute treatments each over a period of approximately two weeks, with the full result manifesting over the next few months.

Currently, the EMSCULPT platform and its mechanism of action are supported by 20+ peer-reviewed studies in publication or pending. These studies feature short- and long-term data using a variety of measures including MRI, CT, ultrasound and animal histology to demonstrate the powerful effect of HIFEM on muscle and fat. Average fat reduction of 19% and an average increase in muscle mass of 16% were shown among the studies.2,4,5 And as of early 2020, more than 400,000 procedures have been performed with no documented adverse events.

Furthermore, with the recent advent of the EMSELLA® applicator – a ‘chair’ designed to provide the targeted pelvic floor muscle stimulation capabilities – to the EMSCULPT platform, the versatility of the device has been increased. Two existing EMSCULPT applicators include the large for the abdomen, buttocks and thighs, and the small for arms and legs.

EMSELLA is intended to provide entirely non-invasive electromagnetic stimulation of pelvic floor musculature for the purpose of rehabilitation of weak pelvic muscles and restoration of neuromuscular control for the treatment of male and female urinary incontinence.

“EMSELLA does for the pelvic floor what EMSCULPT does for the core and extremities,” Dr. Brandeis explained. Through its applicators, the device delivers up to 2.5 Tesla of magnetic induction (measured at coil surface; data on file with BTL). Induced current plays a key role in triggering muscle contractions, and higher current contributes to stronger muscle contractions. The strength of these contractions is much higher and more numerous than could ever be achieved through exercise alone.

The mechanism of action with EMSCULPT differs from traditional aesthetic modalities, so much so that it lends itself outstandingly to use with other technologies. Technologies such as BTL EMTONE, BTL Exilis Ultra 360 and BTL Vanquish ME, from the company’s growing suite of body contouring devices, serve as complementary treatments. While BTL has made every effort to advocate the fact that non-BTL technologies a physician already employs will work well with it too, combination treatments with the company’s own devices feature associated protocols built to maximize the synergy between them. With EMSCULPT and EMSELLA, for example, there is the Core to Floor protocol. “It is essential to have a thoroughly strong core for a healthy posture, movement and range of motion,” Dr. Brandeis explained.

According to the manufacturer, data shows that EMSCULPT induces stronger muscle contractions than the competition with up to 56% more induced current, shorter pulse width to induce more current in a targeted manner and consistent magnetic intensity, all while running on a 110V power supply. BTL holds more than 35 patents or patents pending globally, which the company is defending through recent legal action.

EMSCULPT is also a proven practice builder. Its website receives more than 30,000 visitors monthly, and it is featured regularly on mainstream and social media (nearly 14 billion media impressions).

Millennials, an emerging market segment, comprise more than 38% of the current patient base. Among surgical lifts and augmentations, EMSCULPT buttock treatments account for almost 60% of the total number of procedures. In addition, more than 18% of EMSCULPT patients are men, another rapidly growing aesthetic market, representing a more than 40% increase in male non-invasive body sculpting treatments. The average monthly revenue seen with EMSCULPT is about $24,250 per device.

Moreover, the procedure is safe enough to delegate to physician extenders or trained ancillary staff (EMSELLA itself requires no operator intervention), which improves office profitability and efficiency.


1. Weiss RA, Bernardy J. Induction of fat apoptosis by a non-thermal device: Mechanism of action of non-invasive high-intensity electromagnetic technology in a porcine model. Lasers Surg Med. 2019 Jan;51(1):47-53.

2. Katz B., Bard R., Goldfarb R., Shiloh A., Kenolova D.

Ultrasound assessment of subcutaneous abdominal fat thickness after treatments with a high-intensity focused electromagnetic field device: a multicenter study. Dermatol Surg 2019 Dec;45(12):1542-1548.

3. DuncanD,DinevI.Noninvasiveinductionofmuscle fiber hypertrophy and hyperplasia: effects of high- intensity focused electromagnetic field evaluated in an in-vivo porcine model: a pilot study. Aesthet Surg J Oct 2019: epub ahead of print.

4. Kinney BM, Lozanova P. High intensity focused electromagnetic therapy evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging: Safety and efficacy study of a dual tissue effect based non-invasive abdominal body shaping: MRI evaluation of electromagnetic therapy. Lasers Surg Med. 2019;51(1):40-46.

5. Kent DE, Jacob CI. Computed tomography (CT) based evidence of simultaneous changes in human adipose and muscle tissues following a high-intensity focused electromagnetic field (HIFEM) application: a new method for non-invasive body sculpting. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Nov 1;18(11):1098-1102.

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