Satisfying the demand for easy portability

Medical equipment manufacturers are improving the designs and functionality to meet clinical and operational challenges in the ever-increasing effort to improve diagnoses, advance healthcare and save more lives. Middle East Health looks at a six ultrasound units which offer both portability and high performance.

The wide applicability of ultrasound in areas such as radiology, abdominal medicine, obstetrics, vascular and cardiac medicine alongside the demand from clinicians for smaller, higher performing systems is leading a new wave in the development of ultrasound devices that are smaller and more portable enabling clinicians to easily transport the units between departments and even take them on the road.

Zonare – z.one

Zonare has developed the z.one convertible ultrasound system which provides the flexibility to instantly convert from a full-featured, cart-based system to a compact unit with high-resolution and full exam capabilities.

Zonare says that whether the clinician is dealing with a routine exam in radiology or a trauma case in the ER, z.one can be instantly adapted to changing patient and exam needs. The flexibility of the z.one platform is designed to provide clinical solutions for a wide variety of imaging needs in general imaging, obstetrics, gynaecology, vascular and other emerging ultrasound applications.

"We have developed a next generation ultrasound platform, based primarily on software technology, which provides the clinician with far greater flexibility than traditional ultrasound systems," said Donald Southard, president and CEO of Zonare Medical Systems.

"This architecture, coupled with our proprietary Zone Sonography technology, has allowed us to bring the first convertible ultrasound platform to the industry with high performance image quality at a significant price to value ratio."

Zonare claim that their revolutionary approach behind Zone Sonography will change the way clinicians look at medical ultrasound. With conventional ultrasound systems, information is obtained by sending and receiving hundreds of narrow "lines" to form an image. Zone Sonography, on the other hand, acquires imaging information in a relatively few large "zones".

By gathering these large amounts of data very quickly – in much the same way that a photographic flash blankets areas – many of the physical limitations which previously restricted ultrasound performance are no longer factors. Additionally, instead of handling image acquisition and processing in customdesigned hardware – as conventional ultrasound systems do – Zone Sonography is largely implemented in software, on both the front and the back ends.

That means the performance of a Zone Sonographybased system is not tied to the speed of sound propagation, but rather to processor speed – a much faster and ever-expanding technology. By combining these advances, Zone Sonography is revolutionising ultrasound, enablingpremium image quality in a portable system.

Edward Lyons, MD, professor of radiology, Obs- Gyn and anatomy, University of Manitoba Health Services Center, Winnipeg, Canada, said: "I believe the architecture behind Zone Sonography will add tremendous flexibility and value to the clinical environment. It provides the same image quality and functionality as the traditional 400- pound ultrasound cart system while remaining completely portable.

“This is a tremendous advantage for a wide variety of imaging departments." Peter Jabeck, administrative director, Diagnostic Imaging for Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, US, said: “The main reason we bought the z.one system was for its flexibility, compact size and functionality.

Now we have the ability to use one system for several of our off-site facilities without having to transport a heavy system around. Add this benefit to the z.one system’s scanning capabilities, plus images that are comparable to more expensive systems, and we have a tremendous asset in providing excellent patient care.”

For more information visit: www.zonare.com/zone/

Philips Medical Systems – HD11

Philips Medical System’s latest ultrasound offering is the HD11 which offers powerful options and portability.

The HD11 system is up to 56% lighter than any system in its class. It offers excellent mobility and features advanced ergonomics to ease stress on the user.

The HD11 system’s portability is enhanced with front and rear handles and clear sightlines for users of all sizes. Philips points out that even the most challenging patients can take advantage of advanced ultrasound imaging capabilities without having to be moved.

The compact digital architecture supports broadband beamforming with expanded dynamic range, full software tuning and sub-millimetre digital focus, while computed signal processing uses the diagnostic information within the broadband digital signal without sacrificing temporal resolution.

SonoCT imaging processes up to nine lines of sight for more diagnostic information, while XRES adaptive technology performs 350 million calculations per frame for superb resolution. Integrated automation tools make it easy to achieve the best 2D, Doppler or 4D image with minimal keystrokes.

The HD11 brings 3D/4D imaging into the mainstream by delivering it on a platform that is relatively affordable. “It is not high end in terms of price, but is high end in terms of capability,” Walter van Kuijen, general manager multi-country region and vice president Philips Medical Systems, told Middle East Health earlier this year.

A suite of advanced imaging modes delivers diagnostic power, for complete exam protocols, with incredible system responsiveness. Data management capabilities allow flexible recording, archiving, editing and even exam reports with embedded images.

Performance features

The powerful HD11 platform enables clinicians to customise the system to suit their clinical environment, with options ranging from stress echo to panoramic imaging and contrast.

It also allows more clinicians to experience the growing clinical advantages of 3D/4D imaging as well as specialised requirements for breast, transesophageal, paediatric, vascular, musculoskeletal and more.

The unit enables a more detailed view of foetal heart valves and wall motion to aid in detecting anomalies during routine obstetrical exams. The HD11 system supports more than 20 transducers, including many from the Explora line, for flexibility in meeting most clinical needs.

Ergonomic features

- The control panel and monitor move up and down, supporting users of all heights and allowing them to alter scanning between standing and sitting positions.

- The rotating control panel and monitor, as well as logically grouped mode and measurement keys, enable users to position controls where they’re most accessible, reducing extended reaching that strains shoulders.

- Up to five available ports reduce bending to switch out transducers.

- Advanced circuitry helps keep users and patients more comfortable by promoting a quiet and cool scanning environment.

- The integrated footrest allows correct posture, reducing stress on the spine.

For more information visit www.medical.philips.com


Siemens Medical Solutions – SonolineG40

Siemens Medical Solution’s all digital G40 ultrasound unit, the newest member of the Siemens ultrasound family, combines best-inclass image quality, workflow advancement and colour Doppler capabilities to meet daily clinical needs in a variety of clinical settings, including general imaging, obstetrics-gynaecology and internal medicine. Siemens showed off the unit at the 53rd annual clinical meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) in May in San Francisco, California. In late May the company began shipping the product worldwide.

The G40 system’s intuitive user interface enables clinicians and sonographers to offer comprehensive, diagnostic ultrasound exams to more patients in less time. The compact system with built-in cable management allows for easy transportation between exam rooms or suites.

Additionally, with the DIMAQ-IP integrated workstation and built-in CD read/write drive, small private practices and hospital ultrasound departments alike can cost-effectively archive patient exam data. The embedded connectivity solutions on the G40 system allow simple integration into DICOM-enabled networks and PC-based workstations.

“The G40 system is the latest example of how Siemens is integrating bestin- class imaging technology and clinical workflow advancements into high value systems that are responsive to clinicians’ needs,” explained Klaus Hambüchen, head of the Siemens Medical Solutions Ultrasound Division. “A performance-driven, colour Doppler ultrasound solution, the ultra-portable G40 system, brings these comprehensive clinical capabilities to practices and clinics of every size and case load.”

The G40 system sets a new standard in compact, mobile ultrasound with best-in-class imaging performance including colour Doppler and pulsewave Doppler capabilities. Phased array technology also expands clinical capabilities to include cardiac survey and small-footprint abdominal imaging. Other advances include Virtual Format Imaging (VFI), which offers a variety of linear, trapezoidal and steered two-dimensional imaging formats. In addition, parallel B-mode and colour signal processing provides higher frame rates and a better colour performance.

The open system architecture enables easy integration of advanced capabilities, such as phase inversion Tissue Harmonic Imaging (THI), ultimately helping customers make the most of their equipment investment. Future capabilities are expected to include three-dimensional imaging, TGO tissue greyscale optimisation technology and SynAps synthetic aperture technology, which improves penetration and focus.

For more information visit: www.medical.siemens.com

GE Medical Systems – the LOGIQ Book

The LOGIQ Book provides complete ultrasound capabilities in a hand-carried, battery-powered scanner about the size of a laptop computer. Weighing only 4.5 kilogrammes and sized to fit into a briefcase or backpack, the LOGIQ Book enables doctors to provide diagnostic ultrasound to patients any time and in virtually any location.

LOGIQ Book portable ultrasound system is the newest member of the LOGIQ family of ultrasound scanners. Like its full-size relatives – LOGIQ 9, LOGIQ 7 and LOGIQ 5 – the LOGIQ Book is based on GE’s advanced TruScan architecture. It delivers the same functionality, raw data processing and archival options found on all LOGIQ scanners, with the advantage of being ultra portable.

“The LOGIQ Book removes the geographic and environmental barriers to ultrasound,” said Omar Ishrak, president and CEO of GE Medical Systems Global Ultrasound business. “This technology empowers healthcare practitioners to deploy the diagnostic benefits of ultrasound throughout the healthcare facility and beyond.”


- Automatic optimisation minimises operator dependent variability to improve image quality, examination consistency and overall productivity

- Easy3D makes out-ofplane imaging simple

- Calculation packages for obs-gyn, vascular, renal and real-time auto Doppler applications

- Image archive stores over 4,000 images or cine loops

- Integrated 10.3-inch, high-resolution, colour LCD for easy viewing and accurate diagnostic interpretation

- Images are stored with raw data allowing the application of real-time scanning techniques to stored images

- Data is stored in a DICOM format that enables images and information to be shared with other scanners, workstations and archives.

SonoSite – MicroMaxx

SonoSite recently introduced the MicroMaxx ultrasound system, the company's third generation hand-carried product, weighing less than 3.8 kilogrammes and the size of a laptop computer. The unit delivers image resolution and performance comparable to conventional cart-based ultrasound systems weighing over 100kg.

The United States-headquartered Sonosite with offices in Europe and China is considered a world leader in hand-carried ultrasound. SonoSite has developed user-friendly, technologically advanced products designed from the groundup, not adapted from existing technologies. The company's proprietary ‘Chip Fusion’ technology integrates digital signal processing and multiple ultrasound functions into a custom ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) microchip, resulting in high performance in a less costly, powerful handcarried unit.

The MicroMaxx system and its transducers are designed to withstand the rogh and tumble of the real world, including being dropped onto a hard surface and continuing to function. Another added benefit is the standard fiveyear warranty on every MicroMaxx unit.

"Hand-carried echocardiography has become central in my clinical practice for making and confirming diagnostic decisions and the MicroMaxx system is a major step forward," said Catherine Otto, MD, professor of medicine and director, Cardiology Fellowship Programs, University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. "The image resolution and colour Doppler are superb and something I did not expect to find in a hand-carried unit. The MicroMaxx is easy to use with simple, clear controls. Getting comfortable with this sophisticated instrument took me less than 10 minutes."

The new broadband digital beamformer supports extended bandwidth transducers for scanning in a wide range of clinical applications. Additionally, the MicroMaxx system is ready for scanning in seconds and can operate on battery power for up to four hours. New transducers being introduced with the MicroMaxx system include:

- HFL 38 /13-6 linear transducer for breast, small parts, vascular, IMT and nerve imaging;

- P17/5-1 phased array transducer for abdominal, cardiac and obstetrical scanning;

- C60e/5-2 curved array transducer for abdominal, obstetrical and gynecological scanning; and

- TEE/8-3 transducer for transoesophageal echocardiography scanning.

The MicroMaxx system also offers the option of embedded SonoCalc IMT software for the early detection and management of cardiovascular disease. IMT, or Intima Media Thickness, refers to the measurement of the interior lining of the common carotid artery. This effective measurement can detect sub-clinical atherosclerosis (very early stages of disease), long before any significant atherosclerotic plaque accumulates.

For more information visit: www.sonosite.com

Medison – SonoAce PICO

Medison, a South Korean based company, manufactures the SonoAce PICO – a full-featured digital colour ultrasound system with virtually all the imaging capabilities you would expect from a cart-based system with the added benefit of being fully portable.

The compact digital package is designed for physicians practicing in obsgyn, internal medicine and radiology and operates wherever there is a power point. The SonoAce PICO is about the size of a regular briefcase and has several innovative technical features including digital beamforming and tissue harmonic imaging technologies, as well as Spectral, Colour and Pulse Wave Doppler. The unit has Freehand 3D for optimal 2D and 3D images in colour and black and white.

The unit is based on the Linux Operating System and is network enabled. System maintenance and upgrades can all be performed through a remote service via an Internet connection.

SonoAce PICO comes installed with Medison’s patented SonoView Lite image management software for easy and intuitive image filing and management. The unit also has a USB port to connect peripheral devices such as a CD/RW drive for increased storage in addition to the already installed high capacity hard drive.

The system comes with a broad range of probes making it applicable to a wide field of applications.

For more information visit: www.medison.com


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