Siemens introduces scalable platform for ultrasound shared services

July 10, 2002

Sonoline G60 S makes top features affordableSiemens Medical Systems has added a new product to its ultrasound line, incorporating high-end aspects from its premiere sonographic offerings in a flexible, portable, and economical

Sonoline G60 S makes top features affordable

Siemens Medical Systems has added a new product to its ultrasound line, incorporating high-end aspects from its premiere sonographic offerings in a flexible, portable, and economical package. The system, called Sonoline G60 S, is designed to support imaging across a wide range of clinical applications at a cost that should meet the constraints of even cost-conscious hospitals and imaging centers.

"No one was really addressing this segment of the market from a price performance standpoint," said Bill Carrano, vice president of worldwide marketing for Siemens ultrasound division. "No one was providing a full-capacity system that does abdominal, obstetric, vascular, and cardiology imaging well, is small and portable, and has a price point that can be managed by smaller hospitals and private imaging centers."

The G60 S ultrasound system was released by Siemens Medical Systems of Mountain View, CA, the first week of July at two international radiology conferences: the International Congress of Radiology in Cancun, Mexico, and the Euroson 2002 Congress in Warsaw, Poland. It is the first in what may become a family of products. The Sonoline G (for general) 60 S (for shared) offers advanced design technologies, such as application-specific integrated circuits and a fully digital ultrasound beam former on the front end, that do not exist in other $80,000 to $100,000 ultrasound units. Also unavailable in ultrasound systems in this price range is high-frame-rate cardiology imaging, according to Carrano. Most ultrasound products in this price category have a 15 frames-per-second rate. The frame rate with the Sonoline G60 S is three to five times higher, he said.

All this comes in a compact unit that weighs less than 300 pounds and spans only 20 inches. The profile is so low, the average person can see over the top for easy maneuvering down hallways and in crowded exam rooms, Carrano said.

The G60 S incorporates some of the best of Siemens and Acuson ultrasound technology, according to Carrano. It provides the extended field-of-view SieScape technology, which captures panoramic images up to 60 cm in length. The product also has the DIMAQ-IP workstation, which traces its history from the Acuson Sequoia and Aspen systems to the Siemens Antares and now the Sonoline G60 S. The workstation supports rapid acquisition, storage, and review of static as well as dynamic images, access to images via CD or a physician's laptop, and full departmental or facility-wide integration through DICOM.

"This system has a high-performance networking connectivity capability that you typically find on higher priced systems," Carrano said. "It allows you to get images offline to a printer quickly for hard-copy printing for the patient record or to an electronic offline review station, which can be anywhere in the hospital or at a remote location."

Buyers have a range of options. They can secure a basic configuration and add capabilities, or they can purchase a fully loaded version. A private office or women's center that needs to perform the entire range of obstetric and gynecologic ultrasound, for example, could take advantage of the curved and linear array transducers, endocavity transducers, 2D gray-scale, and Doppler display modes. A hospital that wants to use the Sonoline G60 S as a shared radiology, obstetric, vascular, and cardiology service would buy the full-blown package with a phased-array sector for abdominal imaging, the curved linear array for obstetrics, and the high-frame-rate cardiac imaging capability.

"Most products in this price range tend to be hybrid in nature--a little analog, a little digital," Carrano said. "For this price performance range, this is the first high-performance system with a fully digital architecture."