AI picks top executive to guide color launch

May 8, 1991

Acoustic Imaging hired a senior sales and marketing executivelast month to coordinate the summer release of its color-flowDoppler upgrade and the reconstruction of its marketing staff.Marketing was hit hard when AI reduced its work force by 4%

Acoustic Imaging hired a senior sales and marketing executivelast month to coordinate the summer release of its color-flowDoppler upgrade and the reconstruction of its marketing staff.Marketing was hit hard when AI reduced its work force by 4% earlierthis year (SCAN 1/16/91).

Ross L. Trimby, vice president of sales and marketing, is anexperienced medical executive whose previous positions includedvice president of marketing for Philips Medical Systems in theU.S. and divisional sales manager of Hewlett Packard's medicalbusiness.

AI introduced its patent-pending Doppler technology--labeledmaximum entropy method--at the 1990 Radiological Society of NorthAmerica meeting in Chicago last November, although the color-flowsystem had not yet been integrated into the AI 5200 scanner forclinical testing. Future AI product introductions will presumablybe paced more cautiously.

"I like the idea of working with a small number of verysophisticated luminary research sites. As the product gets toa deliverable stage, there will then be a focused and controlledrelease of the product," Trimby told SCAN.

Working closely with key luminary sites in a controlled launchensures not only that the product is ready, but also that thevendor's field sales and service staff is sufficiently knowledgeableabout the technology, he said.

As the color-flow system comes on-line, AI will fill in gapsresulting from this year's layoffs and probably expand beyondpast staffing levels, he said.

Dornier Medizintechnik of Germany, which controls 80% of AIequity, will handle European distribution of AI's ultrasound equipment.AI has worldwide engineering and manufacturing responsibilityand sells the scanners in North and South America, Trimby said.

Although Trimby has experience selling to cardiologists--hehandled ECG systems while at HP--the executive does not plan totarget that market immediately with the color system.

"AI is not actively involved in the cardiology market,although I would expect to see us looking seriously at other marketopportunities over time," he said.

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • Toshiba America Medical Systems named Robert McGee asdirector of MRI sales and marketing last week. McGee was previouslynational sales manager for MRI. He moved to TAMS last August fromPhilips Medical Systems North America.

The appointment by Toshiba combines sale and marketing directionfor the vendor's MRI business into one position. John Ariatti,former MRI director of marketing, left TAMS earlier this yearfor personal reasons. Toshiba MRI engineering and production inthe U.S. is based at Toshiba America MRI (TAMI) in South San Francisco.Sales and marketing functions operate out of TAMS headquartersin Tustin, CA.