Siemens plans release of entry-level ultrasound scanner

April 4, 2005

Siemens plans to commercially launch a new member of its Sonoline “G” family of ultrasound scanners by early May. The G40 entry-level color system will primarily target physician offices and community hospitals in the U.S. The niche will expand in Europe and Asia to include midsized hospitals.

Siemens plans to commercially launch a new member of its Sonoline "G" family of ultrasound scanners by early May. The G40 entry-level color system will primarily target physician offices and community hospitals in the U.S. The niche will expand in Europe and Asia to include midsized hospitals.

"Our biggest focus will be on ob/gyn, internal medicine, and urology," said Arnd Kaldowski, vice president of global sales and marketing for Siemens ultrasound.

Described as "ultraportable" yet capable of delivering high performance, the compact cart-based system can support cardiac survey work in M-mode and 2D, as well as general-purpose radiological studies such as abdominal imaging. It is not, however, a shared services product.

"We see its use in internal medicine to support cardiac survey and general radiology procedures," said Josh Gurewitz, senior director of global sales and marketing for ultrasound. "But it doesn't have the measurements you would expect in a shared services product."

G40 will compete directly with such systems as the GE Logiq 3 and Philips EnVisor. Advantages over these products are its compact footprint and light weight. The new Siemens system is about a quarter smaller and a third lighter than competitors, according to Kaldowski.

It is noteworthy for its maneuverability, which is enhanced by a specially designed cable management system, and embedded connectivity to help integrate the system into DICOM-enabled networks and PC-based workstations.

The system also has an edge in image quality, Gurewitz said. Transducers incorporate Hanafi Lens technology, migrated from the Acuson Sequoia and Antares, to improve image uniformity at depths up to 28 cm. The all-digital system, which employs parallel signal processing in 2D and color modes, features advanced data acquisition and processing, including phase inversion tissue harmonic imaging. Its Virtual Format Imaging offers linear, trapezoidal, and steered 2D imaging formats, which increases the field-of-view beyond that of the transducer itself. VFI is available on other members of the G family and the Antares.

Siemens unveiled the system at the European Congress of Radiology in early March. It will begin shipping in worldwide markets in late April, according to Gurewitz.

The G40 joins three other members of Siemens' G (general-purpose) ultrasound family. Two are color systems: G60, a high-performance system that can be configured for shared services (SCAN 7/10/02), and G50, a midrange general-purpose radiological product (SCAN 12/25/02). The G20 is a black-and-white system designed primarily for prostate imaging and brachytherapy seed implantation (SCAN 5/18/04). The CV70 dedicated cardiovascular system (SCAN 4/16/03) is built on the same platform as the G family.

The list price of G40 was not available at press time, but Siemens executives say it will be priced competitively with other entry-level color systems.

Future upgrades are expected to include 3D imaging, single-touch tissue gray-scale image optimization, and synthetic aperture technology, which improves ultrasound beam penetration and focus. The technologies underlying these upgrades will be migrated from higher performance systems, Kaldowski said.