B&K launches radiology sales drive

October 23, 1991

Bruel & Kjaer kicked off a radiology ultrasound sales effortlast month at the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine meetingin Copenhagen. The first commercial shipment of its model 3535scanner was made to a Swedish physician and long-time

Bruel & Kjaer kicked off a radiology ultrasound sales effortlast month at the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine meetingin Copenhagen. The first commercial shipment of its model 3535scanner was made to a Swedish physician and long-time B&Kuser, said Preben Klarlund, marketing manager.

B&K of Naerum, Denmark, is a leading supplier of urologyultrasound scanners. The mid-tier 3535 radiology scanner is acompact, modular unit that uses color-flow Doppler and transducertechnology developed for more versatile radiology scanning applications.

"We are expanding from urology into the heart of radiology.It is a much larger market, with great opportunity," Klarlundsaid.

Targeting radiology has required that B&K create dedicatedsales groups in some national markets. In other markets, urologyand radiology sales can be combined, said Peter A.M. Bredie, medicalinstrumentation strategy manager.

B&K will sell the 3535 system worldwide, with a focus onthe major imaging markets of Europe, Japan and the U.S. The firmrelies mostly on direct sales efforts rather than dealers. Itoperates 26 companies around the world, which will handle thisexpanded ultrasound effort, Klarlund said.

An application was made last year to the Food and Drug Administrationfor marketing of the scanner. The Danish firm had hoped to initiateU.S. sales this summer through its Marlborough, MA, subsidiary(SCAN 3/13/91).

"The FDA (approval) is almost there," Klarlund said.

While B&K plans to introduce a urology software packagefor the 3535, the vendor will continue to sell separate urologyand radiology product lines. A third-generation urology system,the 1846 MFI, was also introduced at WFUM. It offers multifrequencyscanning on a multiplane transrectal probe. Existing B&K urologyunits can be upgraded to the new technology, Bredie said.

B&K developed completely new ultrasound technology inorder to enter the radiology field, including curved- and linear-arrayscanheads and color Doppler. The 3535 system's modularity allowsplug-in transducer options as well as basic system functions suchas spectral and color Doppler and image memory storage capacity.The unit is designed to be waterproof, easy to sterilize, mobileand user-friendly, Bredie said.

Radiology sales are a dominant part of the European ultrasoundmarket, although the market share of radiology is lower than inthe U.S., Bredie said. Demand is also higher in Europe for mid-price-rangecolor Doppler scanners. This contrasts with rapid growth in high-endradiology sales in the U.S.

Specialists such as ob/gyns in European hospitals are moreoften independent ultrasound buyers and users. When high-end ob/gynsales are added to the radiology segment--as is often done incalculating U.S. market figures--the share of radiology ultrasoundsystems in Europe is about equal to the 45% to 50% level in theU.S., Bredie said.