CVIS hooks a big one for intraluminal sales

March 27, 1991

Cardiovascular Imaging Systems (CVIS) and Siemens Ultrasound haveentered into a joint product development/distribution relationshipin intraluminal ultrasound. Siemens showed the CVIS technologyon its SI 1200 high-end cardiology ultrasound system and SI

Cardiovascular Imaging Systems (CVIS) and Siemens Ultrasound haveentered into a joint product development/distribution relationshipin intraluminal ultrasound. Siemens showed the CVIS technologyon its SI 1200 high-end cardiology ultrasound system and SI 450black-and-white scanner at the American College of Cardiologyconference in Atlanta this month.

If the intraluminal product proves popular, the technologycould be expanded to run on Quantum radiology ultrasound systemsand scanners yet to be introduced, said Klaus Hambuechen, presidentof Siemens Ultrasound. Quantum is a Siemens subsidiary.

"Intraluminal ultrasound is not a developed market. Weare not purchasing a company. It (the CVIS agreement) is moreof a distribution test. If the technology proves successful, thesetypes of capabilities would be implemented in future product developments,"Hambuechen said.

The trial period is off to a good start. Siemens already hasseven orders for the system: three for the SI 450 and four forthe SI 1200. The intraluminal option adds about $60,000 to thebase scanner price, he said.

Siemens has a large share of the cath lab and special proceduresimaging market. Interventional customers have been asking thevendor whether it will supply intraluminal ultrasound as an adjunctto its angiography equipment, Hambuechen said.

CVIS will benefit from the Siemens relationship through increasedsystems sales. Perhaps more important for the smaller firm, however,will be the steady stream of disposable catheter sales that willresult from the proliferation of CVIS systems riding on the backof Siemens scanners.

The Siemens agreement is the first example of the CVIS strategyto increase its installed base through the development of OEMsupply agreements, said president Richard M. Ferrari (SCAN 2/13/91).

"Chances are there will be more agreements like this,"he said.

CVIS will also reap market benefits from the endorsement ofits imaging technology by a premier medical imaging vendor, hesaid.

The two vendors will discuss collaboration in new product developmentduring the first six months of the distribution agreement, Ferrarisaid.

Siemens has no plans to make catheters, even though the vendordevelops its own standard ultrasound probes, Hambuechen said.The CVIS agreement offers Siemens an opportunity to enter thisemerging technology field without making substantial investmentsin basic R&D.

Combining intraluminal ultrasound with standard scanning makeseconomic sense for users, since intraluminal devices are not reimbursedby Medicare. The regular scanning portion of the system will makemoney and help support investigation of the intraluminal side,Hambuechen said.