Acuson offers first XP ultrasound upgrade

May 22, 1991

Acuson will introduce its first package of imaging and Dopplerupgrades to the 128XP system this week. The vendor brought the128XP to market last July (SCAN 8/1/90). The upgraded ultrasound scanner, labeled XP Xcelerator, offersnew spectral and color

Acuson will introduce its first package of imaging and Dopplerupgrades to the 128XP system this week. The vendor brought the128XP to market last July (SCAN 8/1/90).

The upgraded ultrasound scanner, labeled XP Xcelerator, offersnew spectral and color Doppler technology. XP Xcelerator alsobroadens the clinical applications of original XP features--suchas multi-Hertz, vector-array and curved-array transducer technologies.

"We are applying the basic image formation processes,which were new on the XP, to more and more applications. Thatmeans spreading them across more transducers," said SamuelH. Maslak, president and CEO.

Acuson plans to hike the price of the scanner by about $10,000,but will wait until July to do so. In the meantime, the vendorwill provide Xcelerator packages to existing and new XP usersfree of charge, Maslak told SCAN.

Some new applications in the Xcelerator package provide innovativeimaging opportunities for users, such as the use of color Doppler,multi-Hertz and vector arrays in prostate scanning. The main focusof the upgrade, however, was to use the XP technology in improvingroutine imaging applications, such as abdominal and obstetricalstudies.

"While prostate scanning is interesting, it is importantnot to lose perspective. The greatest contribution (of Xcelerator)is found in the improved diagnostic information obtained fromexams that are done all the time," Maslak said.

Improving prostate scanning is an example, however, of Acuson'sdesire to develop the scanner to meet the special needs of radiologistusers.

"The people who use our scanner for prostate (imaging)told us they need other unique advantages to justify performingthis procedure in their department versus somewhere else,"Maslak said. "By adding vector, multi-Hertz and color Doppler,we can provide more information."

Extending the original XP system features to new transducersand applications is not a quick process. Each new use of the technologymust be custom designed, he said.

"Once we developed the XP platform, we then had to writesoftware that would apply it to (new areas). When you developsomething like the vector capability, you develop it uniquelyfor every transducer and every frequency," Maslak said.