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Always consider your needs for use and your budget. Identifying what you’d like to spend is a great starting point in helping you compare what options are available in your price range. To make things easier, let’s break it down by establishing three different categories of ultrasound prices.
Entry Level – $2,000 – $10,000
Mid-Tier – $10,000 – $20,000
Premium – $20,000 – $60,000
We can provide some other detailed tips and tricks to maximizing your investment but first let’s look at the standard expectation into each tier.
Keep in mind that prices are dependent on multiple factors like the age, the condition, features, the number of transducers, and of course, the brand and model.
Entry Level – $2,000 – $10,000
Mainly consisting of either new black and white ultrasound units, new entry-level color systems with limited software enhancements, or systems that are 7 – 12 years old. Many Chinese OEM’s thrive in this category and surprisingly there are some decent options available be it with some networking and file management limitations.
Examples in this Tier: Acuson Cypress, Chison Eco 2, Chison Eco 3, Chison Eco 6, Edan DUS 60, Edan U50 Prime, GE Logiq e BT 06/08, Mindray DP-30, Mindray DP-50, Mindray Z6, Sonosite Titan, Sonosite Micromaxx, Sonosite M-Turbo.
Mid-Tier $10,000 – $20,000
This range is where most ultrasound options on the market will be as well as where you will face the hardest choices on what to choose. You will find a wide variety of systems from various manufacturers that accommodate most general ultrasound applications. You’ll also be weighing the options of either purchasing new, used, or refurbished systems. See our blog about The Difference Between Used, Refurbished, and Factory Refurbished Ultrasound Equipment. There are far too many systems to list in this tier, but some popular examples in this tier would be: GE Logiq E NextGen, GE Vivid Q, Mindray M7 Premium, Sonosite Edge.
For people looking for the absolute best diagnostic imaging capabilities or focus on specialty applications are likely looking at premium systems with higher performance functionality. Urology, 3D/4D imaging, Cardiology, and advanced Vascular applications are some examples. There are multiple units that have a reputation for catering to specific specialties, please feel free to contact us if you need some guidance on systems popular for your intended use.
Here is a list of some key factors to look at when looking at new, used, and refurbished ultrasound systems in the mid-tier and premium range.
License Keys & Software Options
Software enhancements like needle visualization, speckle reduction, needle navigation software, and various imaging enhancements can have a major impact on how ultrasound can perform for your setting. The software/license keys determine the options available on almost every ultrasound system. Some are sold as “fully loaded” with all software features, therefore, no license keys are needed. However, most newer ultrasound system options have to be purchased or installed individually. Make sure to identify what options are open on the system you’re considering and what additional license keys are optional and their associate cost. Examples: 4D mode, Continuous Wave Doppler, Tissue Doppler, Strain, Stress Echo, etc.
Date of Manufacture
The age of the used ultrasound system can be very important as older ultrasounds might be missing features, technical specifications, or newer data transfer technologies that are found in most newer systems. Think S-Video out versus HDMI, or compact flash cards as opposed to being able to transfer via USB. In addition, in some GE machines for example the DOM is vital in determining the value. GE’s are divided into BT versions that reveal their age, as for instance BT 08 was launched in 2008. It is possible to upgrade an older version to the newer BT levels but there are specific hardware and board replacements that must be done properly in order to function. If you’re considering a higher software revision that has an older BT level make sure the vendor knows the proper procedures and steps in the upgrade. Ask someone from our team if you have any doubts.
The condition of used ultrasound systems can vary greatly, even when looking at products that are the same age. It often depends on the environment the system was in, the volume of use, and the extent of the general wear and tear that determine a used ultrasound systems value. This is where vendor refurbished options can maximize your value. New ultrasound units typically are backed by multi-year warranties that cover service issues or failures under the period of warranty.
What Types of Ultrasound Transducers Do I Need?
One of the biggest factors in pricing your ultrasound package is the type and quantity of transducers you’re going to need. It’s also important to understand that transducers are not compatible with all types of ultrasound systems. They have different connectors and are proprietary to each manufacturer and in most cases to the model itself. Please contact us if you need help with matching transducers to your ultrasound machine.
The characteristics and function of transducers are primarily determined by the footprint and frequency. The footprint, which is also referred to as the aperture, is the area that will be in contact with the skin. The frequency is directly related to the penetration depth of the sound waves. Higher frequencies are ideal for superficial examinations and are preferred for musculoskeletal imaging, rheumatology, small parts, breast, and guiding vascular access or regional anesthesia. In contrast, lower frequencies are able to penetrate more tissue ideal for examination of deeper structures. So, the higher the frequency the better the resolution, and the lower the frequency the better the penetration. Though harmonics and additional software techniques can help higher frequency transducers obtain better penetration and lower frequency transducers gain improved resolution, this is the physics of ultrasound. The shape of the transducer, or the piezoelectric crystal arrangement, determine the optimal use of the ultrasound transducer. Below are the most common probe types.
Footprint size can vary (25 mm, 38 mm, 50 mm) and the most common frequencies range from 5 MHz to 18 MHz. This is a rectangular shaped beam designed for enhanced resolution in the near field. Linear transducers are ideal for use in superficial examinations of breast, musculoskeletal, nerve, small parts, and vascular.
Convex transducers are commonly referred to as curved linear and abdominal probes. The footprint is typically large and frequencies between 2 MHz to 5Mhz. The beam shape and field of view is convex. Great for examinations at depths beyond 4 centimeters, although as mentioned above the image resolution decreases as depth increases. A popular choice for use in the abdomen, hips, spine, vascular, lower extremity vascular, nerve, urology, gynecology, and obstetrics.
There is also a variant of the convex called a micro convex with a much smaller footprint, which is typically used in neonatal, pediatrics, and the primary option for most veterinary applications.
Also called a cardiac or sector probe a phased array transducer has a smaller footprint designed to fit between the ribs and a lower frequency range of 2 MHz to 5 MHz for adults with higher frequencies for pediatrics. It has a narrow beam point, which can expand depending on the applied frequency covering a large area. Phased array transducers will most commonly have 16 to 256 elements where the higher number of elements increase focus and steering capability. Now with the introduction of single-crystal phased array transducers, you can find improved resolution and penetration with highly sensitive and accurate echo detection. The beam shape is almost triangular with poor resolution in the near field and better resolution in the far-field.
Most commonly used for acoustic windows in the cranium or intercostal spaces, please contact us if you have questions about which systems will provide greater sensitivity, wider bandwidth, higher conversion efficiency, and lower acoustic noise.
Also called CW Doppler or ped off probe, is considered a non-imaging transducer ideal for assessing high-velocity blood flow. Used for cardiac and peripheral vascular applications that may be needed for cardiac lab accreditation.
Includes a range of internal ultrasound probes, designed to fit in orifices for specific purposes. For instance, endovaginal, endorectal, and endocavity. They typically have smaller footprints and middling frequency ranges. TEE or transesophageal probes produce images of the heart through the esophagus. There are also 3D/4D convex, endocavity, linear, and cardiac volume transducers available on a limited number of ultrasound systems. Additionally, there are a number of probes that are designed for intraoperative or surgical use, like laparoscopic probes and Hockey Stick linear transducers.
The Ultrasound Source is intent on providing you with all of the details necessary in identifying the best solution for you and your practice whether you’re just getting started with ultrasound or looking to upgrade or enhance your diagnostic capabilities. If your goal is to find a quality ultrasound machine at a great price, please contact us today for a free quote.
New, Used, and Refurbished Ultrasound Machines are for Sale at The Ultrasound Source. Buy Ultrasound Machines now for the industry’s best prices. Visit our Store