Vingmed Sound forms U.S. firm to take Interspec sales and service

June 5, 1991

A new ultrasound company has set up shop in the U.S., around thecorner from OEC-Diasonics in Salt Lake City. The two companiesare sisters in a fashion. Vingmed Sound Inc. is the new U.S. subsidiaryof color-flow Doppler vendor Vingmed Sound of Norway.

A new ultrasound company has set up shop in the U.S., around thecorner from OEC-Diasonics in Salt Lake City. The two companiesare sisters in a fashion. Vingmed Sound Inc. is the new U.S. subsidiaryof color-flow Doppler vendor Vingmed Sound of Norway. Sonotronpurchased Vingmed Sound from Interspec late last year (SCAN 12/12/90),and Sonotron, in turn, is a Swiss-based, wholly owned subsidiaryof Diasonics.

But that is where the connection ends. Vingmed Sound in theU.S. was created to take over distribution and service of Vingmedcardiology scanners from Interspec, effective June 1 (see story,page two). Operations will be separate from Diasonics' radiologyultrasound business based at the medical imaging vendor's Milpitas,CA, headquarters, according to Bruce Moore, president of Diasonics'ultrasound division.

"We have our hands full attacking the radiology, vascularand shared-service markets," Moore said. "They (VingmedSound) will function as a stand-alone company."

Sonotron has always been the dominant distributor of Vingmedscanners in Europe. That firm hopes to replicate in the U.S. thesuccess it has had selling Vingmed scanners in Europe, said PaulT. Melba, president of the new company. Melba has 12 years' experiencein ultrasound, serving as vice president of marketing and salesfor Interspec until 1989.

"Sonotron's success has positioned the Vingmed systemsas the number one color-flow mapping product line in Europe,"Melba said.

Although there are about 300 Vingmed CFM scanners installedin the U.S., sales have not been as brisk in this country as inEurope. Part of the reason for Vingmed's relatively weak positionhere has been the lack of a consistent sales effort, Melba toldSCAN.

Diasonics was the exclusive U.S. distributor for Vingmed in1987, when Interspec purchased the Norwegian firm (SCAN 11/11/87).Interspec took over U.S. sales at that time, but hadn't gainedmuch momentum before selling the company to Sonotron, he said.

"Part of what makes sales and marketing successful is consistency,"Melba said. "Unfortunately, Vingmed has not had that elementbehind it in the U.S."

Vingmed Sound has already set up five regional offices aroundthe U.S. and hired about 25 service, applications and sales personnel.

Many of the new employees are ultrasound veterans from Diasonics,Hewlett-Packard and Interspec. About 90% of Sonotron's sales ofthe Vingmed system have been direct, rather than through dealers.This ratio should be repeated in the U.S., he said.

The new U.S. effort will be a controlled one, however, Melbasaid.

"Our intent is to solidify the Vingmed installed baseand grow from that base slowly over time," he said.