GE looks to double compact ultrasound business, unveils new systems

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In a push that the company hopes will double its compact ultrasound business, GE Healthcare this week introduced four new clinically specialized ultrasound systems for use in real-time imaging at the point-of-care. The new Compact Series  has the power and imaging capabilities of a high-performance, 400-pound system in a laptop-size design, the company said.

“Until now, the broad adoption of compact ultrasound has been hindered by image quality limitations and the industry’s ‘one size fits all’ approach to compact system design,” said Omar Ishrak, president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s Clinical Systems division. “By working with physicians from a wide-range of medical specialties, we’ve learned that image quality, portability and clinical specialization are all essential to expanding ultrasound’s role in healthcare. We’ve developed our new Compact Series to address these needs and bring the benefits of ultrasound to virtually all clinicians and patients — creating a pathway for ultrasound to become as ubiquitous in patient care as the stethoscope is today,” Ishrak added.

The Compact Series builds upon GE’s Vivid i, a high-performance cardiovascular ultrasound system in a compact design. The system is now utilized at more than 1,000 sites around the world, GE said.

The series also includes the new Voluson i and LOGIQ i systems. Voluson i is designed for obstetrics and gynecology applications, while the LOGIQ i will serve the general imaging needs of radiology.  GE’s “e” products focus on expanding ultrasound’s reach to new clinical areas. The new LOGIQ e is designed to support real-time clinical decisions in emergency and surgical settings, while the Vivid e is a dedicated cardiac ultrasound imaging system for the physician office in a practical, easy to use design.

The Voluson i, LOGIQ e and Vivid e systems are FDA cleared and will become commercially available in the U.S. in June 2006.  LOGIQ i also has FDA clearance, and its commercial introduction is expected in September 2006.