Buyers Guides

Finding the best general imaging ultrasound machine

General imaging was the first category for ultrasound machines and designates an ultrasound machine that can provide imaging for the general or most common types of diagnostic exams. A general imaging ultrasound machine can provide good images for abdominal, vascular, musculoskeletal, small parts and urology applications.

KPI has been the largest distributor of cardiac ultrasound machines for many years and has built a technical and applications team to evaluate, test, compare, review and recommend ultrasound systems based upon their features, reliability, image quality, and price.

The purpose of this buyers guide is to help medical professionals quickly determine the cardiac ultrasound machines with the best value or price to performance ratio. Which cardiac system is best for you depends upon your needs and your budget. KPI has divided the available systems into five price categories. These are:

General imaging ultrasound machine categories

Premium
The most advanced, top of the line systems, but also the most expensive.
High-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 general imaging ultrasound machines:

Recommended systems: Philips EPIQ 7, GE Logiq E9, Philips iU22

If you need the very best image quality, and all the latest features and price is not as important then the premium general imaging ultrasound segment is for you. Luminary doctors, top hospitals, research facilities and educational institutions should all consider the premium general imaging ultrasounds that best fit their focus.

In general imaging there is no clearly dominant brand. GE is most well known for its 4D for OB/GYN while Philips provides ultrasound machines with a stronger cardiovascular focus. General imaging does not require either of these applications, but is a description of the most common applications used in diagnostic ultrasound; typically abdominal, vascular, MSK, urology, and pain management. None of these applications require more specialized imaging hardware or features, but occasionally a Radiologist will need these peripheral applications as well and premium general imaging ultrasound machines can provide them all. One feature almost always exclusive to the premium segment is fusion technology that merges ultrasound images with images from other modalities to allow better study of regions of interest. This advanced feature is available in both the Epiq 7 and Logiq E9.

The GE Logiq E9 is perhaps the broadest in appeal with amazing 2D GI image quality, amazing 4D, and even excellent cardiac function. The Logiq E9 is a proven, reliable platform with a host of transducer options and features. The Philips Epiq 7 is newer, has a larger monitor and is more compact, but at this level where there is very close feature parity your choice is more likely to be the based on the workflow you and your staff are already comfortable using. The Philips iU22 is the previous generation top-of-the-line, but though no longer produced it offers excellent value to those who need a premium ultrasound machine but have some price sensitivity.

premium cardiac ultrasound
What to expect from a premium general imaging ultrasound machine:
  • Amazing image quality in B/C/D and Fusion
  • Scan any body type with deep penetration, clear margins & detailed resolution
  • Large 20” or larger ultra high-quality LCD monitor & tablet-like touchscreen
  • The most advanced technology providing superfast processing speeds
  • Urology package for brachytherapy
  • Powerful automatic image optimization and auto measurement
  • Semiautomatic or automatic quantification tools
  • Top grade productivity with ergonomic & intuitive system design
  • Single crystal probes: wide bandwidth, better signal-to-noise & improved axial resolution
  • Matrix transducer for abdominal scans
  • Dedicated measurements & flexible report format for each application
  • Spatial compound imaging & speckle reduction imaging
  • Synthetic, panoramic and high performance trapezoidal imaging
  • Steering, coded harmonic, high performance & write zoom
  • Automatic IMT measurements and B flow
  • Elastography (Shear wave for abdominal)
  • Fuse ultrasound with CT, MRI, or PET/CT to find regions of interest
  • Needle navigation
  • Needle enhancement
Key reasons the Philips EPIQ 7 is recommended:
  • The successor of the iU22 xMatrix
  • 21.5” LED monitor and 12” tablet-like touchscreen for navigation
  • nSIGHT beamforming with powerful massive parallel processing
  • Advanced workflow: iSCAN for B/C/D and 4D
  • SonoCT: real time image compounding
  • XRES: noise and artifact reduction
  • Strain based elastography for breast imaging with the L18-5 & L12-5
  • Strain based elastography for gynecology and urology with the C10-3v
  • Shear wave elastography available on the C5-1 for liver imaging
  • 2 xMATRIX transducers: X5-1, X7-2t
  • 4 single crystal PureWave transducers: C10-3v, C9-2, C5-1, S5-1
  • iOPTIMIZE: one-button patient size, flow state & clinical adjustments
  • AutoSCAN: continuous image optimization for brightness and TGC
  • Auto Doppler: flow optimization, color box position, angle, PW sample volume placement and angle, auto flow tracking for automatic angle
  • Fast and easy measurements of Live 3D and MPR views
  • 3D Panoramic imaging: real-time extended field-of view volume imaging, acquired in echo xPlane imaging mode on the X6-1
  • Interventional imaging: needle visualization for the C5-1, C6-2, L12-4, & C9-2
  • Multimodality side-by-side image comparison
  • 20 second sleep mode and transport mode with battery for 45 minutes
  • QLAB: easy to use quantification tools with great reproducibility & accuracy
  • QLAB: auto IMT, vascular plaque quantification
  • QLAB: GI 3D quantification, fetal heart navigator
  • 2D LV quantification with both speckle tracking and tissue Doppler imaging
  • C10-3v & C10-4ec endocavitary transducers for OB/GYN exams
  • Strain based elastography for breast imaging with the L18-5 & L12-5
  • Strain based elastography for gynecology and urology with the C10-3v
  • Shear wave elastography available on the C5-1 for liver imaging
  • Smart exam for stress echo, abdominal & vascular speeds exam times
Philips Epiq 7

Key reasons the GE Logiq E9 is recommended:

  • Feature set similar to the EPIQ 7 but more OB/GYN & GI focused
  • 19″ LCD with a separate large, tablet-like touch panel for navigation
  • Amazing 4D image quality
  • Raw data format: ability to post process images after scanning
  • Adjustable electronic keyboard is easier to handle and operate
  • 2 Single Crystal xDClear transducers C2-9 & C1-6
  • Wide range of 4D transducers; linear, convex, micro convex & endocavitary
  • Scan assistant: customizable scanning program that decreases keystroke & shortens exams
  • Compare assistance: Side-by-side comparison
  • Measure assistant: auto measurements that can be easily edited or accepted
  • LOGIQView: extended field of view
  • Automatic IMT measurement
  • Strain-based elastography
  • Shearwave elastography
  • B-Flow displaying great hemodynamics without the limitations of Doppler
  • Volume Navigation: Directly compare CT, MR, PET or ultrasound images side by side or by overlaying the images
GE Logiq E9 Ultrasound System

Key reasons the Philips iU22 is recommended:

  • The most popular premium GI/Cardiovascular ultrasound machine for years
  • 17-20” LCD monitor with two navigational touchscreens
  • Advanced workflow: iSCAN for B/C/D and 4D
  • Probes: 4 xMATRIX  (X7-2. X5-1, X3-1, X7-2t) and 1 single crystal (S5-1)
  • Easy to use quantification tools with great reproducibility and accuracy
  • Powerful Philips xSTREAM beamformer for processing multiple data streams
  • SonoCT: real time image compounding
  • XRES: speckle reduction
  • Elevation image compounding on the X6-1
  • Auto Doppler flow optimization: color box position & angle, PW sample volume placement & angle
  • 1 Single Crystal PureWave transducer S5-1
  • Cardiac exam volume rates up to 90 fps with the X3-1 transducer
  • Mechanical 4D transducers: Vl13-5, V6-2, 3D9-3v
  • X6-1 xMATRIX: imaging in 2 planes at once, without rotating the probe
  • Strain based elastography for breast imaging with the L17-5 & L12-5
  • Strain based elastography for GYN and urology imaging with the C10-3v
  • Shear wave elastography available on C5-1 for liver imaging
  • SmartExam tools deliver efficiency
  • PercuNav: a GPS for guiding soft tissue biopsy and ablation procedures
  • QLAB: Easy to use quantification tools onboard or on PC
  • Panoramic SonoCT imaging
  • Interventional imaging: enhanced needle visualization
Philips iU22 Ultrasound System

The best high-end general imaging ultrasound machines

Recommended systems: Philips Epiq 5, Philips Affiniti 70 and GE Logiq S8

The high-end general imaging ultrasound category is very similar to the more expensive premium category, but with the removal of a few top of the line features and probes in order to create a lower-price point with nearly the same power.

General imaging ultrasound is meant to cover a wide range of the most common scans needed by doctors in order to diagnose and direct treatment. Image quality and workflow efficiency are the focus but at this price point the feature depth and probe quality are also excellent. Hospitals and Imaging centers or Radiologists in need of the best image quality, but also with the need to justify expenses should consider high-end general imaging ultrasound machines.

Depending upon what secondary applications will be the primary focus, a general imagining ultrasound will typically have 2-3 transducers, but if cardiac or 4D for OB/GYN are also needed then they may require more. High-end general imaging ultrasound machines will have 20” or larger monitors, touchscreens, advanced image optimization, the latest hardware as well as full measurement, calculation and reporting packages for each application needed.

GE and Philips offer the best blend of image quality, efficient workflow, extreme reliability and broad application capability. The Philips Epiq 5 is typically a premium ultrasound system, but for general imaging it needs fewer options and probes and falls in price to high-end levels. It functions as a premium system and offers the best image quality and a particularly strong cardiovascular focus as well as general imaging capabilities. The Philips Affiniti 70 is a lower cost version of the Epiq 5 and looks nearly identical. It borrows many of the same features and hardware as well, but offers an even better price. The GE Logiq S8 is a very compact and mobile system that is strong in GI and especially strong in 4D for OB/GYN. The Logiq S8 offers both matrix and single crystal probes, something rare at this price point.

high-end cardiac ultrasound

What to expect from a high-end general imaging ultrasound machine:

  • Amazing B/C/D image quality, little difference with premium level
  • Excellent image quality on a broad spectrum of patient body types
  • Most advanced hardware like premium category but no 2D array matrix
  • Prioritized for workflow efficiency over research focused features
  • Very large 20”+ monitors, articulating arm & touchscreens
  • Automatic image optimization and auto measurement
  • Great for difficult patients: deep penetration, clear margin definition & detail
  • Single crystal probes: wide bandwith, better signal-to-noise & improved axial resolution
  • Advanced vascular tools such as Automatic IMT measurements and B flow
  • Shearwave elastography for abdominal imaging
  • Time-saving image optimization
  • Dedicated measurements & flexible report format for each application
  • Advanced tech: Spatial compound imaging & speckle reduction imaging
  • Advanced tech: Synthetic, panoramic and high performance trapezoidal imaging
  • Advanced tech: steering, coded harmonic, high performance & write zoom
  • Needle enhancement
Key reasons the Philips Epiq 5 is recommended:
  • The successor of the iU22 (non xMatrix version)
  • 21.5” LED monitor and 12” tablet-like touchscreen for navigation
  • nSIGHT beamforming with powerful massive parallel processing
  • Advanced workflow: iSCAN for B/C/D
  • SonoCT: real time image compounding
  • XRES noise and artifact reduction
  • Extremely light and quiet with great ergonomics
  • 4 single crystal PureWave transducers: C10-3v, C9-2, C5-1, S5-1
  • iOPTIMIZE: one-button patient size, flow state & clinical adjustments
  • AutoSCAN: continuous image optimization for brightness and TGC
  • Auto Doppler: flow optimization, color box position, angle, PW sample volume placement and angle, auto flow tracking for automatic angle
  • SmartExam: for abdominal and vascular workflow enhancement
  • High performance linear probes & hockey stick probe for the operation room
  • WideSCAN capability to expand field of view during SonoCT imaging
  • Full vascular measurement package and flexible report format
  • Multimodality side-by-side image comparison
  • 20 second sleep mode, transport mode with battery for 45 minutes
  • Strain based elastography for breast imaging with the L18-5 & L12-5
  • Strain based elastography for gynecology and urology with the C10-3v
  • Shear wave elastography available on the C5-1 for liver imaging
  • 2D LV quantification with both speckle tracking and tissue Doppler imaging
  • QLAB – Easy to use GI quantification with great reproducibility & accuracy
  • QLAB: Auto IMT, vascular plaque quantification
  • QLAB: GI 3D quantification, fetal heart navigator
Philips Epiq 5 Ultrasound System
Key reasons the Philips Affiniti 70 is recommended:
  • Successor to the Philips HD15
  • Very easy to use workflow as well as comfortable physical ergonomics
  • Advanced workflow: iSCAN with B/C/D
  • Same 21.5” LED monitor and 12” touchscreen as the EPIQ series
  • SonoCT (Image compounding)
  • XRES (speckle reduction) and tissue specific preset
  • Extremely light and quiet with a huge monitor & great ergonomics
  • QLAB: Easy to use cardiovascular & GI quantification tools, onboard or on PC
  • QLAB: IMT measurement, vascular plaque quantification, GI 3D
  • QLAB: MVI microvascular imaging, fetal heart navigator
  • Easy to use quantification tools w/ great reproducibility and accuracy
  • 20 second sleep mode, transport mode with battery for 45 minutes
  • Probes: 4 Single Crystal (C10-3v, C9-2, C5-1, S5-1)
  • Strain based elastography for breast imaging with the L12-5
  • Strain based elastography for GYN and pelvic imaging with the C10-3v
  • Shearwave elastography for liver imaging with the C5-1
  • iOPTIMIZE: one-button patient size, flow state & clinical adjustments
  • AutoSCAN: continuous image optimization for brightness and TGC
  • Auto Doppler: flow optimization, color box position, angle, PW sample volume placement and angle, auto flow tracking for automatic angle
  • SmartExam
  • High performance linear probes & hockey stick probe for the operation room
  • WideSCAN capability to expand field of view during SonoCT imaging
Philips Affiniti70
Key reasons the GE Logiq S8 is recommended:
  • 19” LED monitor and 9” wide touchscreen for navigation
  • 4 active probe ports and 1 parking
  • Advanced SRI: Speckle reduction and automatic tissue optimization
  • CrossXBeam: Image compounding
  • Excellent image quality
  • Advanced fetal assessment tools & easy-to-use automation tools
  • Sleek design, lightweight, and high portability
  • Raw data format: ability to post process images after scanning
  • Probes: single crystal (3SP-D, S1-5-D) and matrix (ML6-15, M5S-D)
  • High performance probes & hockey stick probe for the operation room
  • Auto IMT and Auto calculations for vascular risk assessment
  • Scan assistant: customizable scanning program that decreases keystroke & shortens exams
  • Compare assistance: Side-by-side comparison
  • Measure assistant: auto measurements that can be easily edited or accepted
  • Power assistance: move the system without a complete system shutdown & boot up
  • Real-time Auto Doppler Calculations
  • B-Flow displaying great hemodynamics without the limitations of Doppler
  • Elastography
  • Extended Field of View (LOGIQView)
  • B Steer+
  • Realtime 4D, VOCAL, 4D TUI
GE Logiq S8 Ultrasound System

The best midrange general imaging ultrasound machines

Recommended systems: Philips Affinity 50 & HD11XE, GE Logiq S7 & Logiq P6

The most common ultrasound machine segment is the midrange general imaging ultrasound machine. This is because general imaging is the most common application set and the midrange price point is the best balance of price and performance that most hospitals, imaging centers and private practices choose.

Midrange general imaging ultrasounds typically use the more common convex, linear and endocavitary transducers though occasionally at this price point cardiac and or 4D for OB/GYN applications are also available. Spatial compounding, speckle reduction, and needle enhancement technologies are common at this price point.

No one brand dominates this application segment or price point. The amazing Philips Affiniti 50 provides the best image quality and the most advanced up-to-date hardware along with a deep set of quality transducers. The predecessor of the Affiniti 50 is the Philips HD11xe, one of the best selling midrange general imaging ultrasound machines in the past decade. Though no longer manufactured, the HD11xe remains a good value with the largest selection of transducers of any general imaging ultrasound machine in the midrange segment. Both the Affiniti 50 and HD11xe offer strong general imaging and cardiovascular function with the largest monitors in the segment. The GE Logiq S7 is a scaled down version of the powerful Logiq S8 that offers a strong GI, OB/GYN focus with optional 4D. The Logiq P6 meanwhile is less expensive but like the S7 offers a large amount of features for a midrange general imaging system.

Consider the GE Logiq P6 or HD11xe if you’re looking for the most features for the dollar. Consider the Affiniti 50 if image quality is most important to you. Consider the Logiq S7 if you may also need a midrange general imaging ultrasound machine with 4D.

Buyer's guide of Mid-range Cardiac

What to expect in the midrange general imaging ultrasound category:

  • Good to excellent 2D & Doppler image quality
  • Perform all routine exams for diagnosis and practice
  • Cost effective platform balancing cost and performance
  • Usability and workflow are good, but some hardware limitations
  • Automation provided at a lower level than the high-end segment
  • 17-20” LCD monitors, often with articulating arms
  • Full measurement package for all application types
  •  Advanced technology: Spatial compound imaging & Speckle reduction
  • Advanced technology: synthetic, panoramic & high performance trapezoidal imaging
  • Advanced technology: steering, coded harmonic & high performance write zoom
  • Needle enhancement
Key reasons the Philips Affiniti 50 is recommended:
  • The successor to the HD11XE
  • Excellent image quality
  • Most advanced hardware & architecture in the segment
  • Same 21.5” LED monitor and 12” touchscreen as the EPIQ series
  • Optional articulating monitor arm
  • Advanced workflow: iSCAN for B/C/D
  • Extremely light and quiet
  • SonoCT: Real-time image compounding
  • XRES: eliminates virtually all speckle noise and enhances border definition
  • AutoSCAN continuous image optimization based on brightness and TGC
  • iOPTIMIZE: One-button adjustment for different patient sizes, flow states & clinical requirements
  • WideSCAN: expanded field of view during SonoCT imaging
  • 20 second sleep mode, transport mode with battery for 45 minutes
  • Auto Doppler flow optimization (color box position, angle, PW sample volume placement, auto flow tracking)
  • QLAB: easy to use vascular quantification tools (embedded or PC based)
  • QLAB: IMT measurement, and vascular plaque quantification
  • QLAB: MVI microvascular imaging
  • GI, OB/GYN and vascular measurement packages and flexible report format
  • 3 Endocavitary probes for both 2D & 4D imaging (C10-4ec, C9-4v, 3D9-3v)
  • Strain based elastography for breast imaging (L12-5)
  • Strain based elastography for gynecological and pelvic imaging (C10-3v)
  • High performance linear probes & hockey stick probe for the operation room
  • More cost-effective probes than those for the Affiniti 70
Philips Affiniti 50
Key reasons the Philips HD11xe is recommended:
  • The best selling & most recommended midrange cardiovascular system
  • Everyday efficiency combined with powerful features for demanding exams
  • 20” LCD monitor on a fully articulating arm
  • SonoCT: real-time image compounding
  • XRES: eliminates speckle noise & enhances border definition
  • Advanced workflow: iSCAN image optimization for B/C/D
  • IMT: intima media thickness quantification
  • The largest range of transducers for all applications of any midrange system
  • Large selection of GI probes covering a wide frequency range
  • Sector, linear, endocavitary, and 4D probes with dedicated image presets
  • Full measurement packages for all applications
  • Contrast imaging
  • Panoramic imaging
  • Real time 4D and automated 3D fetal echo STIC
  • Urology biplane endocavitary transducer
  • Wide footprint linear probe (50mm) & High frequency linear (L15-7io)
  • Uninterrupted power supply
  • Fine-tune exams with active native data
Philips HD11 XE Ultrasound System
Key reasons the GE Logiq S7 is recommended:
  • Compact and mobile console, a scaled back Logiq S8
  • 19″ high resolution LCD monitor with a wide 7″ touch screen for navigation
  • Automatic tissue optimization
  • Advanced SRI: speckle reduction
  • CrossXBeam: compound imaging
  • GE Matrix linear, and hockey stick probe with a small footprint
  • 4 active probe ports, 1 non-imaging port
  • B-Flow displaying great hemodynamics without the limitations of Doppler
  • Strain based elastography
  • Scan Assistant
  • Extended Field of View (LOGIQView)
  • B Steer+
  • Realtime 4D, VOCAL, 4D TUI
  • Raw Data Format: live onboard or post-scan image adjustment
  • Real-time Auto Doppler Calculations
GE Logiq S7 Ultrasound System
Key reasons the GE Logiq P6 premium is recommended:
  • Proven, highly mobile and multipurpose with a wide range of applications
  • 17″ LCD monitor on a freely articulating arm
  • 3 active probe ports
  • Transvaginal E8C-RS and transrectal E8C transducers
  • 4D convex, 4D microconvex, and 4D transvaginal,
  • Unique dedicated urology biplane transducer options C-C and C-L types
  • High-end features: AMM, CMM, panoramic, and, IMT
  • Raw data format: post-process images after scanning
  • Customizable report designer
  • Real-time auto Doppler calculations
  • Automatic tissue optimization for B/C/D
  • Excellent image quality with advanced SRI (Speckle reduction)
  • CrossXBeam: compound imaging
  • 5 different linear probes with a wide frequency range
  • Hockey stick and intraoperative transducers
  • ViewPoint: electronic reporting and image management
  • Coded Contrast imaging
  • Extended Field of View (LOGIQView)
  • Report Desginer(on-board reporting)
GE Logiq P6 premium Ultrasound System

The best economy general imaging ultrasound systems

Recommended systems: GE Logiq P5 premium, Philips ClearVue 550, Siemens X150

General imaging ultrasound machines do not require as many high-end features as ultrasound machines optimized to other applications. Because of this the economy general imaging ultrasound category does a good job of providing everything that is necessary and not loosing too much in image quality to bring the price down to economy levels.

If you are a radiologist, general practitioner, or physician specialized in MSK (musculoskeletal) in a private practice or with a low budget then the economy general imaging ultrasound segment will be perfect for your needs. All brands have good GI products and no one brand stands out from the other in this category.

The Philips ClearVue 550 offers the best image quality in the economy general imaging segment, however the ClearVue 550 has only 4 probe options. The ClearVue 550 offers the biggest monitor in this segment and has the newest, fastest hardware. The GE Logiq-P5 premium is much the opposite. It is an older design using more dated hardware and probes, but it has the largest selection of probes among the economy general imaging ultrasounds. The Siemens X150 sits somewhere in-between these two opposites in terms of probe options. The X150 does not have the 4D expandability of the Logiq P5. The articulating monitor arm and wireless image transfer are unusual features at this price point. For those who like the Siemens workflow, the X150 offers an inexpensive alternative.

Buyer's guide of Economy

What to expect in the economy general imaging ultrasound category:

  • Acceptable image quality
  • Usability and workflow slowed by some hardware limitations
  • Cost-cutting platform that emphasizes price over features or image quality
  • Auto IMT helps vascular patients improve in long-term care
  • Image optimization and auto measurement improve exam speeds
  • LCD monitor smaller than 20”
  • Auto image optimization auto color and Doppler are important options
  • Advanced technology: spatial compound imaging, speckle reduction imaging,
  • Advanced technology: synthetic, panoramic & high performance trapezoidal
  • Advanced technology: steering, coded harmonic & high performance write zoom
Key reasons the GE Logiq P5 premium is recommended:
  • 15″ LCD monitor with fully articulating arm
  • 3 active probe ports
  • Wide set of applications like general imaging and shared service
  • More probe choices than any other system in this price range
  • Several linear probes and hockey stick probe for the operation room
  • Write/Read/Pan Zoom
  • SRI: speckle reduction
  • CrossXBeam: compound imaging
  • Automatic optimization for B/C/D
  • Ergonomics: front and rear handle, probe cable hanger and probe holder
  • Full vascular, OB/GYN & GI measurements, calculations, and reports
  • Advanced features: Auto IMT, B-flow, TVI, coded contrast, panoramic & 4D
  • Strain based elastography
  • ViewPoint: electronic reports and image management
  • Customizable report designer
  • Real-time Auto Doppler Calculations
GE Logiq P5 premium Ultrasound System
Key reasons the Philips ClearVue 550 is recommended:
  • 17″ LCD monitor with fully articulating arm
  • 4 transducer ports
  • 4 transducers: S4-1 sector, C5-2 convex, C9-4v transvaginal & L12-4 linear
  • iScan image optimization and workflow for B/C/D
  • SonoCT: image compounding
  • XRES: speckle reduction
  • Extended Filed of View
  • No stress echo
  • Intuitive control panel speeds up workflow
  • AMM, color M-mode, freehand 3D, read and write zoom, and panoramic
  • Intuitive user interface, wrap-around handle and cable management hooks
  • Four-way swivel wheels
  • Full sets of GI, OB/GYN, and vascular measurement and analysis tools
  • Color Compare mode
  • Philips high-definition zoom(write zoom)
Philips ClearVue 550 Ultrasound Systemm
Key reasons the Siemens X150 is recommended:
  • 15″ LCD monitor on a fully articulating arm
  • 2 transducer ports(The third one as a option)
  • 7 transducers: 1 convex, 2 linear, 2 sector, 2 endocavitary
  • Write Zoom and Freehand 3D
  • Automatic image optimization in B/D
  • No spatial compounding or speckle reduction
  • Wireless image transfer between the system and a PC
  • Independently steerable and lockable wheels
Siemens Acuson X150 Ultrasound System

The best portable general imaging ultrasound machines

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

General Imaging or GI portable ultrasound machines vary in price and features from the high-end to the economy. Price determines image quality and feature depth in most cases. Mobile image centers, emergency medical personnel, or Radiologists that need to share a single diagnostic ultrasound machine between several rooms or even several locations will find a portable general imaging ultrasound perfect for their needs.

In exchanged for small size and lightness, portable ultrasound machines typically have only a single transducer port (unless paired with a multi probe connector cart) and some limitations in hardware power though this is much less of an issue in general imaging applications where the difference may not even be noticeable.

General imaging typically relies on 2D, and Doppler without the need for more expensive 4D imaging or the high frame rates of CW Doppler. Good image quality, a breadth of probe choices and features such as needle visualization or enhancement however are useful along with a smooth workflow that speeds up each exam.

The Philips CX50 is recommended as it provides the best 2D image quality in a portable ultrasound machine and has a broad range of probes. The CX50 is a high-end ultrasound machine, but the price is a value as the image quality is at premium level. The midrange general imaging Samsung HM70A has good image quality and a broad range of probes and potential applications including needle enhancement. If you needed 4D or full cardiac the HM70 can be upgraded to that as well. The GE Logiq e is an economy ultrasound machine. It excels at MSK 2D imaging and has need guidance as an option on newer revisions. It also offers a surprisingly broad set of transducers for many different applications.

Buyer's guide of Portable Ultrasound

What to expect in the portable general imaging ultrasound category:

  • Amazing to good B/C/D image quality (at higher costs better imaging is expected)
  • A large number of probe choices to cover many potential uses
  • Pediatric and neonatal specific transducers offer an advantage
  • Lighter units with longer lasting batteries (>1 hour) have the advantage
  • Up-to-date system hardware and software
  • Needle enhancement
  • Technology migration is common from the premium & high-end segments
  • Automation & simple workflow is important for “punkability” in a portable
  • Advanced technology: spatial compound imaging, speckle reduction imaging,
  • Advanced technology: synthetic, panoramic & high performance trapezoidal
  • Advanced technology: steering, coded harmonic & high performance write zoom
  • 15″ LCD monitor
  • Auto image optimization, auto color & Doppler save time & decrease fatigue
Key reasons the Philips CX50 is recommended:
  • Excellent B/C/D image quality
  • iSCAN: image auto optimization for B/D
  • Excellent image quality from SonoCT real-time image compounding
  • Advanced XRES: eliminates virtually all speckle noise & enhances border definition
  • AutoSCAN continuously optimizes the image based on brightness and TGC
  • 3 Single Crystal PureWave transducers: C3-10v, C5-1, S5-1
  • Optional cart can connect up to three transducers at once
  • Active native data: allows manipulation of raw image data
  • SmartExam system-guided protocol
  • Live Compare: allows recall of current or previous exam image data for direct side-by-side comparison
  • Needle visualization
  • Active native data: fine-tune exams during or after scanning
Philips CX50
Key reasons the Samsung UGEO HM70A is recommended:
  • Affordable midrange general imaging system that can be shared service
  • Slim and lightweight (6.1Kg, 13.7lb)
  • EZ-Exam: transforms multiple steps into a streamlined process
  • Full screen mode: expand the image area to fit the entire screen
  • HD ADVR™ integrated DVD (720 x 480) & USB (1920 x 1080), scan and record simultaneously
  • Needle enhancement
  • QuickScan for B/D
  • Hybrid Beamforming Engine: software & hardware combined architecture
  • Bi directional Doppler (S-Flow) and highly sensitive color Doppler
  • Boot time of 60sec and 10~20 sec from sleep mode
  • Smart cart with 3 probe connectors and great mobility
  • Sector, convex, endocavitary, and linear probes for wide application coverage
  • Very good linear probes and hockey stick probe for the operation room
Samsung Medison UGEO HM70A
Key reasons the GE Logiq e is recommended:
  • The most popular portable ultrasound machine
  • Optional cart with 3 probe connectors
  • 1 hour scanning time with battery power alone
  • Wide range of transducers, more than any other in the economy segment
  • Linear transducers: hockey-stick, intraoperative, & high frequency linear
  • Dedicated measurement for PoC applications
  • Raw data: onboard live or post processing of images
  • Automatic optimization for B/C/D
  • Auto focus and auto frequency which increased probe “plunkability”
  • Good image quality with SRI (speckle reduction)
  • CrossXBeam: compound imaging
  • Semi-automated IMT measurement
  • eSmart trainer: shows basic scanning techniques for beginning practitioners
  • Battery provides 1 hour of scanning time
  • CrossXBeam: image compounding
  • SRI: Speckle reduction
  • High-end features: AMM, CMM and panoramic
  • High-end features: B-Steer + needle recognition and IMT
GE Logiq e Portable Ultrasound System

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