Compare the Top Rated Ultrasound Machine Brands: 2020 Best & Most Popular Ultrasound Machine Manufacturers
Ultrasound machines can be found in just about every doctor's office, and why wouldn't they be? They are affordable and incredibly effective diagnostic tools that professionals are trained to use. These machines provide doctors with a way to see the structure of multiple parts of the body in a non-invasive and painless way that does not require the use of CT-scans or x-rays.
What to Look for in an Ultrasound Machine
While you may know about ultrasound machines or how to operate them, many people are not entirely aware of what goes into purchasing one. As with any product, there are certain things that you need to consider and keep in mind.
First and foremost you need to think about the features that you need and want in an ultrasound machine. If all you need is a basic unit that can serve multiple purposes, the features you want will be vastly different than someone who requires a very specific type of machine. Considerations include whether you need two or three-dimensional images. You also want to be able to print out your images and store them, features that are handled differently (or sometimes not at all) by different devices. Figure out all of the necessary features before looking into specific models. If you aren't sure, talk to the people who actually use the machine to get a list of must-have, nice-to-have, and never-use features.
In thinking about features, you must also consider everyone that will be using the machine. If it is just you, then all you need to factor into the purchase is yourself. If colleagues will also be using the machine, however, then you should consider their needs as well. In addition, with more than one person using an ultrasound machine, everyone's experience must be taken into account and a machine purchased that matches that experience, or extra training provided. Some suppliers provide training as an additional service.
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It is also important that you keep parts and service mind when looking for an ultrasound machine. For the most part, there are very few consumables that go along with these machines. But there are some parts that may need to be replaced down the line and it is a good idea to know if you will be able to get those parts should the time come that you need them. Talk to your supplier about the supply chain and whether you can get certain parts after purchase, as well as how easy it is to get them and how long the turnaround time is.
In addition to parts, talk to your supplier about the services they offer. The majority of ultrasound machines work without issue for years on end, but if a problem does occur, you need to know that you can get it fixed. Discuss what service options are available and ensure that they fit your needs. It is recommended that you speak to someone with experience in both purchasing and using a machine before making any final decisions if you are unfamiliar with the purchasing process.
What to Look for in an Ultrasound Brand
It is not at all uncommon to find multiple ultrasound machines across various brands and manufacturers that meet your needs. When that happens, brand is your next consideration. Any awards that a company has won offer a good indication as to the quality of products and service that they produce. Customer reviews are also a good way to figure this out and give you the ability to see the best and worst that a company has to offer.
Service and support also vary from brand to brand, so choose one that fits your needs. If you need access to a help center all day every day, then you probably don't want to go with a brand that only offers customer support from 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. You also want to know what training and maintenance a brand offers. If a company provides direct training on a new machine for all your employees or colleagues, that is a great bonus. Similarly, more comprehensive maintenance agreements or service plans can be a large decider between brands.
The Top Ultrasound Brands
There are several companies that manufacture and produce ultrasound machines, each one with their own standards and offerings.
- GE: GE manufactures a broad range of ultrasound machines, from basic systems to premium models. They offer units ranging in size from standard console, to mid-size console, to compact laptop-sized consoles to suit all your ultrasound needs. All GE ultrasound models come with advanced features and offer upgradability to keep up with the ever-evolving and fast pace of technology.
- Phillips: A global leader in the healthcare equipment industry, Phillips prides itself on ultrasound machines that are easy to use while still delivering an advanced performance.
- Samsung Medison: Already a brand known for their advanced technology, Samsung acquired Medison, a company internationally renowned for their ultrasound systems and known as a pioneer in real time 3D ultrasounds. Whether you need an ultrasound machine for specific purposes or one for general use, Samsung Medison has a unit to help make your job easier and your patients more comfortable.
- Siemens: Another globally known brand, Siemens has been producing ultrasound systems since the early 1980s. In 2000, the company purchased Acuson and added their lines of ultrasound machines to an already large portfolio. While the company's machines appear more outdated in terms of style than their competitors, they still provide high-quality, reliable products.
- SonoSite: As the world leader in portable ultrasound machines, SonoSite offers the same quality as a full-sized system in an easily managed, sometimes hand-held package. They are known not just for their ease of use, but for their durability and incredible performance as well.
- Toshiba: No matter what application you need it for, Toshiba ultrasound machines provide premium image quality at an affordable price. The company has received numerous awards for their medical equipment and the Toshiba name has become almost synonymous with quality and reliability.
Additional Purchasing Considerations
You've figured out the brand you want to go with and are narrowing down the machines left to choose from for your new ultrasound system. At this point, it may seem like there are no other factors to consider, but that is not true.
For starters, should you purchase a new or used ultrasound machine? Depending on the untended use, an older machine might work just as well for you as a new machine would while providing significant savings. Keep in mind, though, that technology improves constantly, and ultrasound systems are no different. The image quality available today is drastically different than it was a few years ago and you might not be getting the same picture from an older machine. The savings can be tempting, but if an older machine limits your abilities then it isn't worth it.
It is also important to consider how the machine will really work for you. If you already have existing equipment (or even other ultrasounds) from the same brand, it might be a good idea to go with that same brand for compatibility. Or, if it is a different brand but is compatible with your existing setup, it can be beneficial to go with that option. In addition to that, think about what you really need from the machine. Is a large system the best choice for you? Or do you need something more portable? Even if it isn't a secondary ultrasound system, portability can be a huge selling point depending on your available space. After you have taken all of these things into consideration, it's time to look at price. You might think that should be the first deciding factor in your purchase, but it should most definitely be the last. It is important to know exactly what you need and what features (even if they aren't entirely necessary) will benefit you and your patients. Otherwise, you might purchase a machine based entirely on cost and end up limiting what your ultrasound system has to offer.
Author: Angela Escobar