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Medison leads the pack withnear-real-time 3-D ultrasound system

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By Robert BruceMedison claims to have the fastest 3-D ultrasound rendering. If true, the Korea-based company may take the place of Acuson and Agilent as the most influential stand-alone ultrasound company.The company's new product, the Voluson 730 (SCAN,

By Robert Bruce

Medison claims to have the fastest 3-D ultrasound rendering. If true, the Korea-based company may take the place of Acuson and Agilent as the most influential stand-alone ultrasound company.

The company's new product, the Voluson 730 (SCAN, 10/25/00) is an NT 2000-based system for general imaging, ob/gyn, perinatology, cardiology, vascular, small parts, musculoskeletal, and urology applications. It was shown for the first time at last month's RSNA show.

The platform's digital 3-D imaging offers the first multibeam signal-processing capability, which includes 3-D Doppler and multiplanar imaging‹all processed in less than a second, according to the company.

Other 3-D systems require that the sonographer move the probe to capture the image. Medison's new system eliminates that probe movement, said Thaddeus Chodakauskas, director of product management.

"You just hold the probe in place and the crystal will move electronically. (It will) steer and acquire the volume data, without the operator or user moving the probe," Chodakauskas,­said.

Without probe movement there are fewer inaccuracies, according to Chodakauskas. And because only volume data is acquired, the system provides more quantitative information, he said. The Voluson 730's volume quantification software, called VOCAL (for virtual organ computer-aided analysis), assesses the volume of anatomical structures and masses.

Medison sells its HDI 1500 and the 400C to ATL/Philips but does not plan to share the Voluson 730, which was cleared last month by the FDA. The list price for this model is around $220,000, which means the average selling price is likely to be from $160,000 to $180,000.

The rapid 3-D image acquisition is what really differentiates the new Medison product, Chodakauskas said. The Medison platform delivers update times‹the time from image acquisition to display‹of less than a second. An informal survey of other ultrasound manufacturers produced claims of four to 10 seconds. "Everyone has comparable image quality, comparable sensitivity, and color Doppler. The value (here) is the 3-D," he said. "We're at least two or three years ahead of everyone else." n

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