Ultrasound machines are an essential piece of equipment for many medical practices. These machines are used to diagnose a host of medical conditions from more common ailments to more complex diseases. With so many diagnostic machines to choose from, medical professionals are often left with the difficult choice of which brand of machine to choose. Fortunately for the men and women of the healthcare industry, there are some brands that stand out from the rest on a number of measures. Here we review the 10 trusted ultrasound machine brands that professionals utilize to visualize and diagnose conditions inside of the human body.
What Is an Ultrasound Machine?
It should not come as a surprise that ultrasound machines have been a mainstay for diagnostic imaging in the medical field for decades, and the place it holds in the profession shows no signs of letting up. These machines, like other diagnostic tools used by doctors, serve a role in allowing medical professionals to quickly, easily, and inexpensively visualize disorders or injuries located in the body’s tissues, underneath the skin. Though CT scans or MRIs may come to mind when many people think about diagnostic imaging, ultrasounds are used to visualize blood vessels, kidneys, and other internal areas.
Ultrasound technology, also called sonography, used sound waves to generate images of a structure that the sound waves have been transmitted to. These sound waves produce echoes that are interpreted by the machine’s transducer. The transducer then sends this information to an interpreter that is able to generate an image of the structures. Essentially, ultrasounds are able to produce images based on the density of objects located in the targeted areas. Dense objects produce these sound echoes that the machine then interprets as the solid structures of organs, blood vessel walls, and the like.
What Are They Used For?
Ultrasound technology works using a transducer, which is the object that sends sound pulses through the body area. As mentioned previously, these sound waves produce echoes that the machine then is able to interpret using several steps and variables, including information about how long it took for the sound wave to reach the transducer. This allows ultrasounds to create images that can be highly detailed, although ultrasounds are usually not able to visualize structures that are very deep.
Because ultrasounds are highly efficient at visualizing superficial tissues and structures, these devices are a fast and affordable way to diagnose disorders of superficial areas. Many people may think of ultrasound machines in the context of monitoring pregnancy, but these machines are used frequently for a variety of medical reasons. These machines are so common in medicine that it is difficult to list all of their uses, but some major ones are listed below:
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound (fracture sonography)
- Obstetric and gynecological ultrasound
- Ophthalmologic ultrasound
- Visualizing blood vessels
- Visualizing trauma to the peritoneum, pericardium, or other areas
- Visualizing solid organs of the abdomen
10 Trusted Ultrasound Machine Brands
Here, we will review 10 trusted ultrasound machine brands to aid healthcare professionals who are interested in replacing an old machine or investing in a new machine for a burgeoning practice. The industry is filled with companies with a strong reputation, and the following brands will be reviewed:
Although known for its forays into the IT and MRI side of medical diagnostics, Esaote is also known for its ultrasound equipment. This company manufactures machines that operate in many of the critical areas of ultrasound technology including, orthopedics, urology, neonatal and obstetric sonography, anesthesiology and vascular sonography, and cardiology. This company also produced electrocardiogram equipment and veterinary equipment, encompassing two of the companies four main divisions. They are based out of Italy.
Fujifilm, a Japanese company, is involved in a wide range of businesses associated with imaging, including digital cameras, paper, printers, chemicals, and copy machines. Fujifilm is also involved in the medical industry as it produces medical diagnostic equipment, including ultrasounds, optical equipment, and various electronic components. With revenue of over $20 billion, Fujifilm is a solemn goliath towering over its rivals.
Alpinion Medical Holdings
Based out of South Korea, Alpinion Medical Holdings produces the Alpinion E-CUBE-7, which is a fast, reliable and affordable entrant into the ultrasound market. Among its many features is a high-quality transducer that creates vivid images, establishing this machine as a favorite among healthcare providers. It has a wide monitor and a slim design, making the E-CUBE-7 a great choice for private practice or other offices.
GE is a name that carries a lot of weight both in the United States and around the world. GE Healthcare produced a number of critical devices and technology of use in the healthcare industry, not least of which is the Voluson model of ultrasound machines. This machine is priced in the mid-range and is designed to make the most effective use of time spent on image gathering. In medicine, particularly in medical emergencies, time is of the essence, giving machines like those produced by GE an edge. With the GE name, you know that you are getting reliability.
Hitachi Medical Corporation
Like some of the other brands on this list, Hitachi is involved in a variety of specific areas of technology, not merely ultrasonography. Hitachi manufactures not only ultrasound machines but X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. The corporation also has forays into the area of medical informatics and IT, allowing the company to meet all of the medical needs of the customers that purchase their equipment. Known in particular for its MRI technology, Hitachi has subsidiaries across America and Europe and is a favorite at large hospitals and teaching hospitals.
Like the hologram, Hologic’s equipment produces images so vivid and true to life that they can be mistaken for the real thing. Holologic is based out of the United States where it produces a wide variety of medical diagnostic machines especially designed to cater to the healthcare needs of women. They are a leader in the areas of breast imaging and other radiographic imaging, and also have forayed into the realm of RNA and DNA analysis. In terms of the sonography, they produce several advanced devices for imaging of the musculoskeletal system.
One of the larger companies on our list, Philips Healthcare produces a number of machines important in the realm of medical diagnostic imaging. In particular, Philips is known for its high-quality X-ray, PET, CT and MRI machine. Like many of the large entities involved in diagnostic imaging, Philips has also ventured into new areas of the business, like consulting, education and training, and other clinical services to help healthcare providers best utilize and maintain their equipment. Equipment manufactured by Philips Healthcare is designed specifically with minimally invasive therapy in mind.
A recognizable name in the healthcare industry, Siemens Healthcare manufactures therapeutic and medical diagnostic equipment. Like some of the other companies, Siemens has forayed into the areas of professional development, IT, consulting, and maintenance. Siemens Healthcare produces a range of diagnostic equipment, including sonographic equipment, CT, X-ray, MRI, and molecular imaging. Siemens is known for incorporating computer technology into its equipment. In the realm of sonography, they are known especially for angiography, surgical sonography, and general ultrasound.
Based out of Tokyo, Japan, Shimadzu Corporation produces medical equipment that serves a variety of purposes. Medical systems produced by Shimadzu include a PET, CT scans, X-rays, and ultrasound devices. This company also produces other large-scale equipment for the aviation and industrial sectors. They have offices all over the world and are also involved in producing optical devices and laboratory diagnostic equipment.
Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation
As a branch of a large and well-known company, Toshiba Medical has some pretty hefty shoes to fill, but with a broad range of devices on its roster, Toshiba seems up to the challenge. Toshiba Medical Corporation produces CT, MRI, X-ray, and other radiologic equipment in addition to its ultrasound devices. Toshiba works in conjunction with institutions around the world to produce and sponsor research that will lead to technology on the cutting edge of the field. Based out of Japan, Toshiba is especially involved in the area of angiography (blood vessels) and minimizing the use of contrast agents.
Having so many brands to consider when choosing the right machine for your hospital or practice can be a blessing. There are many trusted names that produce equipment that you can rely on to give your patients the quality of care that they expect and deserve. Some of these brands specialize in specific areas of the realm of diagnostic imaging while other companies produce equipment that has a general use and is affordable or lightweight.
Naturally, the decision of which brand is the best fit for you will not always be an easy one, but the healthcare provider at least has the comfort of knowing that as far as reputation and reliability goes, all the options are strong ones.