French ultrasound vendor returns to U.S. market

April 11, 2001

Kontron Medical has reentered the North American marketplace. The company, which is owned by the French firm Amphora, hopes to win customers in the U.S. with its Sigma 330, a midrange color-flow ultrasound system.The product will be featured at the

Kontron Medical has reentered the North American marketplace. The company, which is owned by the French firm Amphora, hopes to win customers in the U.S. with its Sigma 330, a midrange color-flow ultrasound system.

The product will be featured at the upcoming annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists April 28 to May 2. It will be sold through a network of eight dealers in the U.S. and two in Canada. Primary customers will be specialists in ob/gyn, as well as other office-based physicians who might use the system for vascular or general-purpose scanning.

“In the next year we hope to see where we fit in the market and make sure our product is answering market needs,” said Dan Meibers, product and marketing manager for Kontron Medical.

It has been several years since Kontron equipment has been sold in the U.S. The company left the U.S. because of a mismatch between its product line and the marketplace. Kontron had offered only lower end systems, whereas the U.S. market has typically preferred high-performance systems. Sigma 330 offers Kontron the chance to get back where it needs to be, according to Meibers.

“To be a player, you need to sell in the largest market in the world,” he said.

Sigma 330 represents a change for the company. The color-flow system delivers the capability lacking in its previous offerings. The midrange system comes in three different configurations and can be equipped with several types of probes, including curved-array, linear-array, and convex transducers, as well as intracavity products with biopsy capabilities. Among the features are 3-D gray-scale, color-flow Doppler, and high-frequency imaging.

Also in the Kontron product line will be a low-end, black-and-white version called Sigma 110, but Meibers expects the higher performance system to be the more popular. The 3-D capability should help distinguish the system from competitors, he said.

“To be able to bring an affordable color-flow system with 3-D into the midrange market should be a valuable advantage for us,” he said.