Pie plans 2000 debut of small ultrasound scanner

October 27, 1999

50S Tringa may have cardiac, ob/gyn applicationsUltrasound vendors continue to push the envelope in bringing sonographic technology to smaller and smaller scanning devices. The latest to debut a small-scale system is Dutch ultrasound manufacturer

50S Tringa may have cardiac, ob/gyn applications

Ultrasound vendors continue to push the envelope in bringing sonographic technology to smaller and smaller scanning devices. The latest to debut a small-scale system is Dutch ultrasound manufacturer Pie Medical.

Pie will initially bring the unit, called 50S Tringa, to the worldwide veterinary market, but also has its eye on human applications. The Maastricht-based firm believes that 50S Tringa will be suitable for a wide array of specialties, ranging from family practice to urology, ob/gyn, and even some cardiology applications.

50S Tringa weighs 800 g and has an LCD screen. It also includes an infrared communication port and connections for a video recorder and a printer. Users could mount the scanner on their own arm or on a table stand that will be available as an option. 50S Tringa includes B-mode, M-mode, dual-image, and zoom capability, but no Doppler technology. A software package covering ob/gyn, urology, and cardiology applications will be included, according to Henk van der Wal, product manager.

Pie will initially demonstrate 50S Tringa at Medica ’99 in Dusseldorf next month. The company has not decided whether it will show the system at this year’s RSNA meeting. Pie expects to file a 510(k) application with the Food and Drug Administration by mid-2000.

Pie has released the system for veterinary use, and will soon begin clinical investigation of 50S Tringa for human applications at sites in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Final pricing has yet to be determined, but the unit will likely cost between $7000 and $8000. The price will include a probe as well as a battery charger. The battery can run at least three hours between charges, van der Wal said.

Pie is targeting a June 2000 release of 50S Tringa for human applications, following appropriate regulatory clearances. When ready, Pie will market 50S Tringa through its dealer network. While 50S Tringa was developed internally by Pie, it does employ a probe contributed by parent company Esaote, which acquired Pie in 1998 from Philips Medical Systems (SCAN 4/29/98). Pie is run by Esaote as an independent company, but the firms cooperate on R&D as well as logistics and production, van der Wal said.

The 50S Tringa isn’t the first system on which Pie and Esaote have collaborated. Earlier this year, Pie introduced an Esaote-developed ultrasound system into its veterinary markets. Other jointly developed products are in the pipeline, van der Wal said.

Esaote will not be selling 50S Tringa, however, according to van der Wal. Pie continues to maintain an OEM relationship with ex-parent Philips, but has not decided whether to provide 50S Tringa to the fellow Dutch firm.