New handheld ultrasound unit targeted for the heart
Royal Philips Electronics waited to enter the handheld ultrasound market until it was able miniaturize the power of its premium model into a laptop size. The company recently launched the Philips CX50 CompactXtreme, aimed at cardiologists in various locales.

Philips is targeting its new product to any facility that performs echocardiography, according to Jim Brown, senior director of clinical and technical marketing at Philips Healthcare.
For example, Brown said that a larger lab may want to extend its services to the operating room or critical-care units, or an office environment that is limited on space, or a practice that is looking to begin remote services.

“In working with customers, we found they were frustrated by the inability to image the most technically challenging patients, and very critical studies, at the patient’s bedside. The users of compact systems didn’t have the confidence in the portable systems, compared to the premium systems in their labs,” Brown told Cardiovascular Business News

As a result, the CX50 CompactXtreme has the power of the IE33 premium product, as well as a similar interface, limiting training and learning requirements, Brown said.

Other features of the handheld system that give it the power of its premium cousin are the PureWave transducer, which can improve penetration in difficult-to-image patients, and the XRES adaptive image processing for reduced speckle and haze inherent with ultrasound imaging.

The laptop-sized product supports adult transthoracic and transesophageal cardiology applications and has both wired and wireless DICOM capabilities.

In terms of price comparison, Brown said that the IE33 costs about $120,000 to $200,000, depending on the customer add-ons, while the CX50 will typically cost about $80,000 to $100,000.