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Finding the best used ultrasound machine

From hospitals replacing aging equipment to clinics seeking to acquire their first diagnostic ultrasound machine, many types of medical professionals are considering used ultrasound machines as the best way to reduce costs or get better image quality and features than they could otherwise afford. Besides being separated by the applications they can perform, used ultrasound machines can also be sorted by their original price category, their age, and their condition.

Ways to categorize used ultrasound machines

Used ultrasound machines by application: Cardiovascular: heart & vascular scans, CW Doppler, sector & linear probes Shared Service: All types of scans for all applications with all probe types General Imaging: abdominal, vascular, MSK scans with convex & linear probes 4D OB/GYN: women’s health, OB scans with 4D and convex & transvaginal probes

Used ultrasound machines by price range when manufactured:

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 used ultrasound machines

Recommended systems: GE Voluson E8, Philips iU22

Premium used ultrasound machines used to be the top of the line but have since been recently superseded by a newer replacement. There may only be a small difference in performance or a few new added features, but the difference in price is typically huge when compared with a new system of the same or replacement model. These premium used ultrasound machines were built with the best technology and design possible so even when a few years old, they are far ahead of most midrange systems that are brand new and should be a safe, reliable performer for years to come. The Philips iU22 has held the top spot for cardiovascular, shared service, or general imaging ultrasound machines for nearly ten years. The iU22 has been upgraded and refined during that time and early revisions were notoriously unstable. However used E-cart, F-cart, and G-cart iU22s are stable and powerful with many hardware upgrades over earlier A-cart through D-cart versions. The iU22 has an extremely broad range of probes and later versions had xMatrix probes as an option. The GE Voluson E8 has been the top selling premium 4D ultrasound machine for nearly a decade and is still in production even though it has been supersceded by the Voluson E10 at the premium level. The BT06-BT10 versions of the Voluson E8 are stable, though the earliest versions had small monitors. Voluson E8’s that are BT11 and newer have “HD live” which is GE’s revolutionary high definition 4D that really amazes patients and doctors alike when they first see it. Because the Voluson E8 will remain in production the Voluson E8 is a tremendous value as probes and parts can stil be purchased new and will continue for the foreseeable future. KPI recommends the Philips iU22 and GE Voluson E8 as the best used ultrasound machine values in the premium category. If you need a used shared service, cardiovascular or general imaging ultrasound machine then choose the iU22 which can do everything from Cardiac to 4D. If you need the best used 4D ultrasound machine for OB/GYN and women’s health then the GE Voluson E8 is your best choice.

The best high-end used ultrasound machines

Recommended systems: Samsung A30, Philips HD15

High-end used ultrasound machines used to be similar in performance to the top of the line but have since been recently superseded by a newer replacement or discontinued in production. There may only be a small difference in performance or a few new added features, but the difference in price is typically huge when compared with a new system of the same or replacement model. These high-end used ultrasound machines were built with very advanced technology so that even when a few years old, they are equivalent or slightly better than most new midrange ultrasound machines and should be a safe, reliable performer for years to come. The Samsung A30 (previously the Samsung Medison Accuvix A30) is an underestimated used ultrasound machine. It performs excellent 4D for OB/GYN applications at a quality level just below the GE Voluson E6 or S8. Unlike the Voluson line it can also serve well in cardiovascular applications. Best of all the pricing is at midrange levels! The A30 was launched in 2011 and remains in production to this day. The Philips HD15 has always been a reliable high-end ultrasound since its launch in 2008 and though it never sold in huge numbers, it continued in production till 2015 and has actually grown in demand as a refurbished or remanufactured unit. The HD15 is distinguished by its early adoption of the single crystal “Purewave” transducers which offer higher image quality. The HD15 shines as a shared service, cardiovascular or general imaging ultrasound machine because of its amazing image quality, broad set of applications, efficient workflow and extreme reliability. KPI recommends the Samsung A30 and the Philips HD15 as the best used ultrasound machine values in the high-end category. If you need a used shared service, cardiovascular or general imaging ultrasound machine then the Philips HD15 has a slight edge as it can do everything from Cardiac to 4D. If you need the best high-end used ultrasound machine value for 4D and women’s health then the Samsung A30 is your best choice.

The best midrange used ultrasound machines

Recommended systems: Philips HD11xe, Samsung H60, GE Logiq P6

Midrange used ultrasound machines are the easiest to find as they are produced in larger numbers than any other segment. This also means that they often will have probes and parts available for them long after they disappear for more expensive or cheap ultrasound models. The Midrange consists of used ultrasounds that prioritize image quality and workflow efficiency over feature depth in order to best balance price and performance. As used ultrasound machines, these midrange systems are usually a better value than buying a brand new economy ultrasound machine. This is especially true if they are from a major brand with a reputation for quality and durability. KPI receives requests regularly for replacement probes for 15+ year old Philips ultrasound machines that are still in service. This is never the case with less prestigious brands that prioritize low cost over high reliability. The Philips HD11xe replaced the earlier Envisor and later HD11 by adding faster hardware, a larger LCD monitor on an articulating arm and several new features. The HD11xe has always provided good image quality and a broad set of applications and transducers, but more recent versions have also become much more reliable. Early HD11s prior to 2007 had quite a few hardware weaknesses that have since been resolved in subsequent versions of the HD11xe. The HD11xe provides the best imaging in the cardiovascular area, but general imaging and women’s health functionality is also good and 4D OB/GYN is an option. The HD11xe’s class leading selection of probes include cardiac pediatric, TEE, and several 4D probes for OB/GYN along with a host of specialized transducers. The Samsung H60 (formerly the Samsung UGEO H60) is not a well-known ultrasound machine but like many Samsung systems it performs above expectations by providing good 4D and 2D image quality as well as acceptable cardiac functionality if required. It offers a sleek, light design along with a touchscreen for navigation, an unusual feature at this price point. As the price is much lower than one would expect the H60 provides tremendous performance for the price. The GE Logiq P6 is also a less well-known ultrasound machine, as it is typically overlooked in-between the less expensive P5 and the more expensive S7 and S8. This makes the P6 a great value because as a used ultrasound it sells below its value and it is surprisingly full featured with good to acceptable image quality. Like all the Logiq line from GE it can do cardiac and 4D OB/GYN well and everything in-between. KPI recommends the Philips HD11xe as the best used ultrasound value for those needing a cardiovascular or shared service focus. The GE Logiq P6 offers the best value for 4D and general imaging while the Samsung H60 offers the best value if your budget is price-sensitive and you need a Women’s health system with or without 4D.

The best economy used ultrasound machines

Recommended systems: GE Logiq P5 premium

The economy ultrasound market consists of ultrasound machines that have been saddled with less powerful and often less reliable hardware in order to lower the price. Materials and transducers are often more cheaply made. All of this tends to reduce their value as a used ultrasound system as most simply are not durable enough to last long after use from one owner. One exception to this is the GE Logiq P5 premium. It has a long history of proven reliability and durability along with a surprisingly long list of available transducers and features that have migrated down from more expensive Logiq systems. The Launched in 2006, the Logiq P5 premium uses hardware and transducers that are not the most new and advanced but they are reliable and moderately priced. The Logiq P5 premium is still in production and this along with the P5’s history of longevity allow KPI to recommend this even as a used ultrasound machine.

The best used portable ultrasound systems

Recommended systems: GE Voluson i, GE Vivid i, GE Logiq e, Samsung HM70A

Portable ultrasound machines are the segment of most growth in most developing markets because of their lower cost, mobility and ability to fit into any sized exam room with or without good power. Used portable ultrasound machines have to have excellent build quality as they are typically more difficult to service and repair unless the technicians have the latest training or have worked for an ultrasound manufacturer. If the biomedical engineer has the right training they are actually easier to service and can be inexpensively shipped to a skilled repair depot rather than requiring an engineer to travel onsite to diagnose and repair it. GE has a record of exceptional reliability in all of its current generation of portable ultrasound machines. It was not always this way. The GE Logiqbook was terribly unreliable, prone to errors and difficult to fix. However the GE Logiq-e, GE Voluson-i, and GE Vivid-i are all very reliable, have been manufactured for years and are still in production so parts and transducers are plentiful and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Samsung has also made great strides in quality in its portables over the already fairly reliable Medison portables. KPI recommends the GE Voluson-i, the most powerful and advanced portable 4D ultrasound machine as the best used portable ultrasound value for the 4D OB/GYN and women’s health segments. The Samsung HM70A is recommended as the best used portable ultrasound machine for shared service applications as it has 4D image quality close to the Voluson-i, and cardiac capabilities close to the Vivid-i, all in one system that costs less than either GE portable. The GE Vivid-i is the best used portable ultrasound for cardiovascular applications. For general imaging, MSK and pain management the GE Logiq-e offers the best and most reliable value as a used portable ultrasound, especially with needle guidance offered in it’s later revisions.

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