KLAS: Providers seek ultrasound mobility; vendors not completely hitting mark

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More and more healthcare providers are putting a premium on ultrasound equipment mobility, according to a report from KLAS.

According to the report, the primary factors behind selecting ultrasound systems are no longer solely image quality and price. Providers are also looking for units that are more mobile, reliable and designed in a way that helps facilitate clinician workflow.

“The safety and increasing quality of ultrasound images have given the technology wide application in areas like breast imaging and surgical procedures, but many of those departments don’t or can’t have their own ultrasound machine,” said Emily Crane, KLAS research director and author of the new report. “In turn, the radiology department is looking for more mobile units that still offer good penetration, so they can safely take the imaging to the patient.”

According to KLAS, while no vendor has yet delivered the “ultimate” package of mobility and image penetration, Zonare Medical Systems “has emerged as a real option in general imaging” because of functionality, mobility and cost.

KLAS said the performance ratings ranked GE Healthcare’s Logiq 9 ultrasound machine and Toshiba America Medical Systems’ Aplio as the top two performers. According to the firm, customers lauded the product quality and technical support available from the two vendors. KLAS found that while the size of Philips Healthcare’s iU 22 makes it more difficult to move around than smaller systems, it received the fewest negative comments about its penetration and image quality.

As for Siemens’ new Acuson S2000, KLAS referred to early reviews that talked about improvements in its advanced automation and ergonomics, but also said that it’s “been beset by reliability problems that have proven to be frustrating for some providers.”

Other vendors highlighted in the report include BK Medical and Hitachi Medical Systems.