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Finding the best shared service ultrasound machine

Shared service is not really an application but the recognition that multiple applications will often be needed in the same ultrasound machine. If you work at a multi-specialty clinic, in a hospital, or an imaging center, chances are that several physicians each with different specialties is going to need diagnostic ultrasound scans. Rather than purchasing a specialized ultrasound machine for each it is much more convenient and cost effective to purchase a shared service ultrasound that can do it all.

Click on any of the categories below to see the top 2-4 recommended shared service ultrasound machines in that category.  All machines in a category will have similar minimum features. The price range in a category will generally but not always be similar.  Price fluctuates by the brand recognition of an ultrasound machine (well known brands carry a higher price) as well as the condition of the system. (Brand new machines have higher prices than refurbished or used shared service ultrasound machines.)

Often the best value in a category will be a refurbished ultrasound system from a well-known brand. The feature set is the same as other competing machines in the segment but the price is much lower. If you know what segment you’re looking for choose one below and click to see what shared service ultrasound machines are recommended in that feature range:

Categories of shared service ultrasound machines

Premium

The most advanced, top of the line systems, but also the most expensive.

Hight-end

Most, but not all of the features of the premium segment at a lower cost.

Midrange

The most commonly purchased systems with some premium features.

Economy

Basic systems with less advanced technology but at the lowest price.

Portable

Range from High-end to Economy, but less expensive than consoles.

The best premium shared service ultrasound machines:

Recommended systems: Philips Epiq 7 & Epiq 5, GE Logiq E9, Philips iU22

Premium shared service ultrasound machines are meant to showcase the latest technologies and provide the absolute best image quality for even difficult patients in every possible application. Medical professionals who require the very best image quality and features across all applications where price is not an obstacles will want to choose an ultrasound machine in this segment.

Philips has long held an advantage in shared service with the Philips iU22 holding the top spot for cardiac focused shared service ultrasounds. The iU22 has been upgraded and refined for nearly a decade. However the GE Logiq E9 has now nearly matched the iU22 in cardiac performance and was always superior in 4D OB/GYN applications. In late 2013 Philips released it’s new Epiq 7 and is now phasing out the iU22 in favor of the Epiq 7 and 5. In the past the iE33 and iU22 were differentiated by the iE33’s stronger cardiac focus. The Epiq line meanwhile does not have this distinction between the Epiq 7 and 5. The Epiq 7 is clearly the more powerful unit, but the Epiq 5 is only missing a few probes and features from the 7. Both the Epiq ultrasounds are next generation machines that are smaller, lighter, faster and have bigger screens and touchscreens than the previous generation.

Kpi recommends the Philips Epiq 7, GE Logiq E9, Philips iU22, and Philips Epiq 5 as the best shared service ultrasound machines in the premium segment. Even though the iU22 is surpassed by the new Epiq 7 and 5, the difference is great that the iU22 has no more value. On the contrary, the iU22 is being sought in record numbers because the price is becoming more affordable. Perhaps the best price to power ratio however goes to the GE Logiq E9 which matches the iU22 in cardiac performance while offering superior 4D for OB/GYN applications. If you want the latest technology, small size and are less focused on 4D then the Epiq 7 and Epiq 5 make the most sense.

The best high-end shared service ultrasound machines:

Recommended systems: Philips Affiniti 70, GE Logiq S8 & Philips HD15

High-end shared service ultrasounds perform similar to those in the premium category but with a few top less top the line features in order to provide a more affordable the price. Hospitals and Imaging centers that need to provide excellent support for multiple applications should consider the high-end segment as a way to save cost while still providing the best image quality.

Philips offers the best solution in this price range for more cardiovascular focused shared service needs with the amazing Affiniti 70. It looks and performs almost exactly like the premium Epiq series and uses newer hardware than the Logiq S8 or HD15. The Logiq S8 offers better 4D for OB/GYN and is light and portable for it’s category. The Philips HD15 is the previous generation and was replaced by the Affiniti 70, but it is a reliable performer still in demand as a refurbished machine with a lower total cost. If you are looking to save the most money while still acquiring a high-end shared service ultrasound then consider the HD15 the best option. If your practices needs strong 4D for OB/GYN applications with a bit of the rest then choose the Logiq S8. If your focus is cardiovascular with some of the rest then choose the Affiniti 70.

The best midrange shared service ultrasound machines:

Recommended systems: Philips Affinity 50, Philips HD11xe, GE Logiq P6 premium

Mid-range shared service ultrasound machines balance price and performance for physicians that perform exams in high volumes. A midrange shared service ultrasound system prioritizes image quality and productivity. Medical professionals that need to provide good image quality support for several applications while lowering acquisition costs should consider the midrange shared service ultrasound segment. This perfect balance between price and performance is the reason why midrange systems outsell any other class.

The midrange segment is crowded with overachieving ultrasound machines from multiple brands and pricing is competitive. Because of this KPI recommends three different options depending on your priorities. If the latest technology and the strongest cardiovascular performance are your priorities in a shared service machine then the Philips Affinit 50 should be at the top of your list. The Affiniti 50 is the successor to the very popular HD11xe, which sold more units in the cardiovascular segment than any other system in the past decade. The Affiniti line is based upon the much more expensive Epiq line and much of the foundational hardware is shared between the two. This makes the Affinit 50 a tremendous value for the technology you are getting.

If your focus is more towards saving the most possible in the midrange segment, the now discontinued Philips HD11xe is an amazing choice at refurbished prices and offers the largest selection of probes of any system here. In addition, many high-end features like an articulating monitor arm and TEE support are supported in the HD11xe.

If your focus is stronger towards 4D for OB/GYN then the GE Logiq P6 premium has proven itself like the HD11xe. Though not as popular the P6 blends deep 4D transducer support with credible cardiac and solid GI support.

The best economy shared service ultrasound machines:

Recommended systems: GE Logiq P5 premium, Philips ClearVue 550 & HD5

The economy segment for shared service ultrasound is somewhat limited in selection just as shared service for midrange is crowded. The reason for this is that it is expensive to create one ultrasound machine that can do it all, and in the process of cost cutting for the low cost category, very few shared service ultrasound machines can both cut costs and provide multi-application service.

Medical professionals who prioritize cost effectiveness over everything else and need a shared service ultrasound should especially consider the reliability and ease of use of a potential economy ultrasound machine. Systems that are too cheap will end up costing more money through increased maintenance and repair costs, downtime for repair and slower workflow that allows fewer exams in a day.

KPI recommends the GE Logiq P5 premium as a very reliable option with the broadest range of transducers and 4D support (rare for this price range). The Logiq P5 is not the newest or most advanced but it does support many features traditionally left at the midrange level.

If you don’t need 4D, Philips makes the best cardiovascular, GI and OB/GYN focused shared service ultrasound machines in the economy segment. They are reliable, advanced and offer the best cardiovascular imaging by far. Which you select depends upon your budget. The ClearVue is a premium economy shared service ultrasound machine like the Logiq P5 premium while the HD5 is less expensive. However the HD5 offers more probes (though lower quality) and offboard QLAB.

The best portable shared service ultrasound machines:

Recommended systems: Philips CX50, Samsung HM70A, GE Logiq e

Portable shared service ultrasound machines put a lot of power into a small space, as they must provide support to multiple applications within the space constraints of a large laptop. Despite this there are several outstanding models able to do well in Cardiac as well as OB/GYN. Portable shared service ultrasounds typically are used in mobile imaging services, and by doctors or hospitals that want a single unit that can travel from room to room or location to location to do various types of studies.

Portable shared service ultrasound machines range in price and features from high-end console replacements like the Philips CX50 to midrange values like the Samsung HM70A to low priced workhorses like the GE Logiq e.

GE has more variety in its portable ultrasound lineup than any other brand, and the Logiq-e is the most well known and best selling. It’s inexpensive, reliable and though it does not offer 4D the price for the performance is very good.

Philips only offers 2 portable ultrasound machines but its CX50 is the most advanced portable ultrasound currently available using both xMatrix and Single crystal probes normally used only with Premium systems.

Medison has been producing portable ultrasounds for a long time and now the first fully Samsung portable has come out as the successor to the successful Samsung Medison U6. It is the only shared service portable ultrasound that offers both cardiac and 4D for OB/GYN and it does both very well and at a midrange price.

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