Vendor has not committed to debut dateSiemens Ultrasound is readying its long-awaited successor to thehigh-performance Quantum 2000 ultrasound scanner. Contrary topublished reports, however, the company has not settled on a productintroduction
Siemens Ultrasound is readying its long-awaited successor to thehigh-performance Quantum 2000 ultrasound scanner. Contrary topublished reports, however, the company has not settled on a productintroduction date, according to Lothar Koob, group vice presidentof the Issaquah unit.
"Product introductions here will not be dictated by thecalendar," Koob told SCAN. "We will launch the productwhen we believe the performance of the system has reached ourobjectives."
Daniel Rice, manager of public relations, disclosed that contingencyplans have been made for introduction of the new scanner at eithera major trade show or between exhibitions. If the system is introducedbetween conferences, Siemens may use a road show similar to Acuson'sAcoustic Response Technology rollout in 1993 (SCAN 5/19/93).
Koob admits that a late fall introduction would make sensefrom a business standpoint. Ideally, Koob would prefer a coming-outparty at the Radiological Society of North America meeting.
"Certainly, the RSNA is an important event that can givea system an adequate boost and help generate a high degree ofvisibility among potential customers," he said.
The system has yet to be named and is referred to internallyas the Q Project, according to Rice. It is undergoing in-houseclinical testing at Issaquah, with the current emphasis on user-interfacedesign. Focus-group technologists are working with various keyboard/trackballconfigurations, he said. Beta testing at selected hospitals willbegin soon, perhaps in May, depending on the acceptance of in-houseclinical trials, according to Koob.
The new system will feature gray-scale performance improvementsgained from a new all-digital beamformer, Koob said. Well-respectedaspects of Q2000's color Doppler performance will be retained,while the display and controls have been redesigned for more intuitiveoperation. An upgrade path will protect Q2000 users against productobsolescence, Koob said.
Siemens bolstered its mid-range offerings with the introductionof Sonoline Versa in October 1994 (SCAN 11/23/94). The moderatelypriced radiology platform was developed jointly by Siemens engineersin Issaquah and Matsushita Communications in Japan. MCI manufacturesVersa, which is mainly designed for European customers. About100 black-and-white Versas have been sold, according to Koob.A color Doppler version will be introduced before the end of June.