Portable ultrasound machines are available from every manufacturer and range in price from $10,000-$75,000 depending on features and technology. Depending on one's clinical needs it certainly seems to make sense to buy one either for your private practice or to start a mobile sonography business. In the last month of 2012, and with Section 179 Tax Deduction available, it even makes more sense to take advantage of the cost savings.
United Medical Instruments - Diagnostic Ultrasound Blog!
Compact ultrasound, Portable ultrasound machine, hand-held ultrasound system….. regardless of which name you use, the general category is still the same: small, laptop-sized ultrasound machine that, in most models, packs as much punch as its cart-based brothers. Recently I sat down with sonographer Grace Smith, RDMS (AB, OB/Gyn and RVT), ARRT – RT(R), owner of NWI Mobile Ultrasound to get her perspective on compact ultrasound machines.
Question: What is your background with ultrasound and experience level with both cart-based and portable ultrasound systems?
Answer: I have been a sonographer for a decade now, registered in OB, Abdominal, and Vascular, and have worked in the hospital setting for 5 years, including hospitals such as Johns Hopkins. I was the Program Director for ultrasound at Sanford-Brown College, and most recently have started my own mobile imaging company. While working in the hospital settings, I used a full-sized ultrasound system. However, I have seen excellent technology changes in portable ultrasound systems that make them comparable to the larger hospital-based systems.
Question: In your experience do you see the portable ultrasound market growing?
Answer: Yes, it’s definitely a growing industry. Unfortunately, there are many physicians who are not aware of the excellent image quality portable units provide. Some portable ultrasound machines are better than others, i.e. more powerful imaging, but in general, when compared to the larger systems, they hold their own.
Question: What are your thoughts on the SonoSite machines compared to the Toshiba Viamo portable ultrasound system?
Answer: I’ve used both systems in my mobile business and although the SonoSite has great image quality it lacks some features that the Viamo has. Our company provides sonograms of the heart (echocardiograms), abdomen, OB/GYN, Vascular including extremities, small parts, musculoskeletal and nerve blocks so we really need an ultrasound machine that can do everything well. We found this to be the case with the Toshiba Viamo and we especially like how user-friendly the system is with its unique touch-screen capability.
Question: It sounds like you have really embraced the laptop ultrasound market. What advice would you give to anyone looking to buy a portable ultrasound machine?
Answer: Well, as sonographers, we are required to go to school and complete the education and skills needed to acquire great diagnostic images. For physicians, I would suggest hiring a trained sonographer or acquiring the necessary education and scanning skills to get quality diagnostic images. This also includes learning the physics of ultrasound. Only trained personnel should scan patients.
To learn more about NWI Mobile ultrasound, please visit their website www.nwimobileultrasound.com. To discuss our portable ultrasound solutions, give us a call at 877.490.7036 or visit our website at www.umiultrasound.com and request a FREE online virtual demo!
Welcome to the first installment of Jeanette's Journeys! Jeanette is the National Marketing Manager for United Medical Instruments, Inc. and not only gives stellar product training to the sales reps, but also travels to customer sites addressing questions, providing SonoSite, Toshiba, and Siemens ultrasound system training, as well as ensuring customers are completely happy with their ultrasound purchase. When not involved at a customer site or developing marketing programs, you can find her at a tradeshow. She is a major contributor to the success of UMI, and hopefully you enjoy reading our blogs based on Jeanette's Journeys!
East Coast Sales Director, Jerry Michel, consulted with Virginia Vascular Surgical Center to determine which SonoSite portable ultrasound system would meet the needs of this friendly yet busy Davita Dialysis Center. Post sale customer support was requested to address the customer concerns of:
Gregg L. Londrey, MD, a board certified vascular and general surgeon, and site Medical Director, his wife Joy, an RN, and colleague Dave all manage the vascular surgical center. The Center "offers the latest state-of-the-art equipment and non-invasive procedures to evaluate arterial, cerebral, and venous diseases." To learn more about their facility visit Vasurgical.com
Prior to Jeanette's arrival, the customer realized she needed to exchange the transducer they originally purchased for a different one and after working with Jerry and receiving the probe in 24 hours, Joy confidently said "Your company has the best customer service I have ever received....It was great to speak to a person and get immediate results." With the right equipment in hand, Jeanette's training began. Jeanette brings over 20 years of sonography experience and is a RDMS, RVT, and RPhS so putting together a customized shortcut for Joy's clinical team Amy, Dave, and Scott was second nature and very helpful for the end users. To get your copy of the Dialysis Access Fistula Exam Tips click here. Knowing there was a need to increase patient throughput she also created vascular access quick cards for the SonoSite Micromaxx and M-Turbo. Having been trained on flow volume exams, provided with shortcuts, and given knobology training for the staff, the team at Virginia Vascular Surgical Center is happy, and ready to treat patients. Another successful customer install, this time in Virginia. Stay tuned for the next stop in Jeanette's Journeys!