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Finding the best vascular ultrasound machine

Are you considering the purchase of a vascular ultrasound machine? Want an unbiased comparison of the different brands and models available? Want to see each vascular ultrasound machine’s features, imaging modes, applications, available probes and clinical images? If so you are in the right place.

Click on any of the categories to see the top 2-4 recommended vascular 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 how well known a brand is (well known brands have a higher price) as well as the condition of the system. (Brand new machines cost significantly more than refurbished or used vascular ultrasound machines.)

Refurbished or late-model ultrasound machines built or rebuilt within the last 2-3 years from a well-known brand usually offer the best value. The feature set in these systems is usually the same brand new systems in the same category but the price is much lower. If you know which category you’re looking for, choose one below and click to see which vascular ultrasound machines are recommended in that price range:

Vascular ultrasound machine categories

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 Vascular ultrasound systems

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

Premium vascular ultrasound machines are used at top-of-the-line hospitals, at clinical and educational institutions or by experienced luminary doctors who can afford to have the very best performance and features regardless of the cost. Vascular surgeons, Radiologist, Cardiovascular specialists and General practitioners who need to image blood flow, flow blockages, vascular structure and for guidance during vascular surgery will use Doppler, Blow flow imaging, ICE, IMT and other popular vascular features to diagnose and direct treatment.

No one brand has a clear advantage in the vascular ultrasound machine market. Brand choice will depend upon the interface and workflow that you find most comfortable. The main difference is whether the unit will have a Cardiovascular focus or whether it will be a true shared-service environment where it must excel at many applications besides vascular. If the focus is Cardiovascular then Philips has the edge, but if 4D and women’s health are equally important then GE holds an advantage. All premium vascular ultrasound machines will have amazing 2D image quality (Deep penetration, detailed resolution, and sensitivity) all of which help in diagnosis of even difficult patients and in complicated clinical cases.

Kpi recommends the Philips Epiq 7, Epiq 5, iU22 and the GE Logiq E9 as the best vascular ultrasound machines in the premium segment. Even though the iU22 is surpassed by the new Epiq 7 and Epiq 5, the falling price of late model iU22’s make them a terrific value. The Epiq 7 and 5 offers greater power and image quality, but the iU22 offers a better price to power ratio if you don’t need the absolute latest technology. The GE Logiq E9 offers less matrix and single crystal probe options than the Epiq or iU22 but if you are more familiar with the GE workflow then the Logiq E9 will offer similar performance and features with the addition of better 4D for OB/GYN and GI applications in a shared service environment.

The best high-end vascular ultrasound machines:

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

The high end vascular ultrasound category consists of machines with similar performance to the premium segment, but with a few top of the line features missing in order to lower the price and offer a balance or price to performance.
Cardiovascular specialists, Vascular surgeons, Radiologist, and General practitioners who need to image blood flow, flow blockages, vascular structure and for guidance during vascular surgery will use Doppler, Blow flow imaging, ICE, IMT and other popular vascular features to diagnose and direct vascular treatment.

The Philips brand holds the advantage for those medical professionals who want an ultrasound machine with the best cardiovascular imaging focus because of Philips’ edge in cardiac imaging over other brands. Doctors who have more general imaging needs along with their vascular focus should consider GE’s products as the Logiq line does the best job of offering true shared service function in addition to excellent vascular. At this price point the other brands do not have any edge over Philips and GE with vascular ultrasound machines.

Kpi recommends the Philips Affiniti 70, GE Logiq S8, and Philips HD15 as the best choices in the high-end vascular ultrasound market. All of these systems offer amazing vascular image quality, just like the top of the line systems but lack a few of the features of their more expensive premium siblings. The Affiniti 70 especially looks and performs much like the more expensive Epiq series. xMatrix is one of the few big differences between the Epiq 5 and Affiniti 70. The Affiniti 70’s Qlab functions are what really set it apart in the high-end vascular segment. The Logiq S8 does not have as many features as the Affiniti but does have access to the more powerful xMatric probes as well as better 4D for General Imaging. The Logiq S8 is much smaller and lighter than it’s premium sibling the Logiq E9. The Philips HD15 has proven itself reliable with a great balance of features and efficiency and as a refurbished unit offers the value option in this segment.

The best midrange vascular ultrasound machines:

Recommended systems: Philips Affinity 50, GE Vivid S6, Philips HD11xe, GE Logiq P6

Mid-range vascular ultrasound machines are meant to balance price and performance for doctors that need to do a large volume of exams with the option to do a few high-end studies or difficult patients. Midrange vascular ultrasound machines provide the perfect balance between price and performance and for this reason they are the highest selling, and often most well known by a brand. Hospitals, Imaging Centers, and most private practices will choose midrange ultrasound machines for vascular service.

This is the most competitive segment in vascular ultrasound, and all manufacturers have credible offerings, however both Philips and GE stand out above the rest and have for the past decade. Philips is best at cardiovascular applications while GE excels at shared service for medical professionals who might also use their ultrasound machine for GI and 4D applications.

Kpi recommends the Philips Affiniti 50, GE Vivid S6, Philips HD11xe and GE Logiq P6 as the best choices in the midrange vascular ultrasound market. This is a crowded segment, but the new Philips Affiniti 50 stands out because of it’s similarity to the new premium Epiq line as well as it’s lineage as the successor to the hugely popular HD11xe which is the top selling cardiovascular midrange ultrasound for the past decade. The Affiniti 50 has the same huge monitor, touchscreen, and battery power as the more expensive Epiq line, something unique in this segment. The HD11xe is no longer in production but will be supported for years to come and offers the best value, widest range of available transducers and a history of reliability. The GE Vivid S6 and Logiq P6 both are very good. The Logiq P6 offers the more shared service feature set while the Vivid S6 is cardiovascular focused. Both are smaller or lighter than the Philips units.

The best economy vascular ultrasound machines:

Recommended systems: GE Vivid S5, GE Logiq P5 premium

Vascular ultrasound machines in the Economy segment are meant to provide basic vascular functions at the lowest possible price. Recommended ultrasound machines in this segment maintain higher than average image quality, reliability and a few midrange features and probes to stand above the crowd of cheap competitors. Economy does not have to mean cheap, which is important as many private practice physicians have learned after replacing an extremely cheap, inefficient and unreliable unit with a more premium economy ultrasound machine that costs a little more but quickly justifies that expense.

All the top ultrasound machine manufacturers have realized that the economy segment is where they are losing the most market share to new brands and have tried to become more competitive in their low priced models. GE has done this the best for the vascular market with economic systems that can feel midrange in everyday use.

Kpi recommends the GE Vivid S5, GE Logiq P5 premium as the best choices in the economy vascular ultrasound market. The Vivid S5 is a newer platform than the Logiq P5 premium and like all the Vivid line is cardiovascular focused. The Logiq P5 premium is an older platform but has a huge range of probe and application options that make it a very capable shared service ultrasound system.

The best portable vascular ultrasound machines:

Recommended systems: Philips CX50, GE Vivid-q, GE Logiq e

Portable vascular ultrasound machines put the power of a traditional console into the size of a large laptop. This allows for use in locations with very little free space, for ease in moving from room to room, but also between facilities. Portables can also use their batteries to function outdoors for screenings or in emergency settings where consoles could not go. Portables range in price and power between high-end down to economy, but typically cost less than a similar console sized unit in the same category. Their downsides include a smaller screen and typically only one transducer port.

GE has more portable ultrasound models than any other brand and it is no coincidence that these are all top-selling portable ultrasound machines. Philips has a much smaller lineup but does offer the most advanced portable ultrasound currently available with both xMatrix and Single crystal probes available to it.

Kpi recommends the Philips CX50, the GE Vivid-q, GE Vivid-i, and GE Logiq-e as the best choices in the portable vascular ultrasound market. The CX50 and the Vivid-q represent the high-end segment, while the Vivid-I fits in the midrange and the GE Logiq-e is in the economy category for portable ultrasound. The CX50 is a amazing shared service ultrasound capable of anything except 4D for OB/GYN. The Vivid q and Vivid i are both cardiovascular in focus, while the Logiq e is shared service without 4D just like the CX50. The main difference between the Vivid-i and Vivid-q is the quantification package of software, and the availability of an xMatrix cardiac probe for the more expensive Vivid-q.

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