Chinese ultrasound vendor debuts at RSNA conference

December 27, 1995

Appearance is first for a Chinese ultrasound companyShantou Institute of Ultrasonic Instruments scored a historicfirst at last month's Radiological Society of North America exhibitionby becoming the first ultrasound equipment manufacturer

Appearance is first for a Chinese ultrasound company

Shantou Institute of Ultrasonic Instruments scored a historicfirst at last month's Radiological Society of North America exhibitionby becoming the first ultrasound equipment manufacturer basedin China to promote its products at the annual show.

An SIUI delegation headed by Yao Jinzhong, the institute'sfounder and president, came to Chicago to display its productline, which has been submitted to the Food and Drug Administrationfor 510(k) review. The company also seeks cooperation from radiologistsand manufacturers.

As a 23-year-old engineer, Yao introduced diagnostic ultrasoundto China in 1962 after founding SIUI to apply ultrasound technologyto nondestructive testing and medical applications. He designedChina's first A-mode scanner for human medical use in 1963 anddeveloped an M-mode scanner in 1970. A B-mode system, featuringa computer processor and electronic scanning capabilities, wasreleased in 1980. That system incorporated technologies licensedfrom Hitachi Medical Systems of Japan.

The institute, based in Shantou, near Hong Kong in Guangdongprovince, employs 500 workers. About 500 of the 2500 ultrasoundsystems built by SIUI in 1994 were exported, Yao said. The instituteis also a major manufacturer of linear, convex and mechanicalsector probes, he said.

SIUI's technology transfer agreement with Hitachi expired in1992, giving the institute the right to market SIUI-built productsindependently in the world market, Yao said. SIUI has sold scannersin Latin American and European markets for several years and hasopened a U.S. sales office in San Jose, CA.

Yao expressed satisfaction with his first RSNA experience."We were very successful here," he said. "We madea lot of contacts and have seen a lot of sales interest. We arelooking forward to being here next year."