Buyers Guides

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.
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 used ultrasound machines

Recommended: 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Premium used ultrasound machines used to be the top of the line but have since been recently superseded by a newer replacement.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.

premium cardiac ultrasound
What to expect from a premium used ultrasound machine
  • Amazing image quality
  • Large ultra high-quality LCD monitor and tablet-like touch panel
  • 3-4 probe ports
  • Advanced technology providing superfast processing speeds
  • Powerful automatic image optimization and auto measurement
  • Semiautomatic or automatic quantification tools
  • Automatic image optimization
  • The widest range of transducers
  • Full application packages with measurements and flexible reporting formats

Key reasons the GE Voluson E8 is recommended:

  • 19″ LED monitor & 10.4″ touch screen for navigation
  • Matrix Array Volume Technology Probes (RM6C, RIC6-12-D, RM14L)
  • Advanced 4D with the 2nd generation dynamic render engine
  • Fast volume rates
  • Many flexible imaging formats with amazing resolution
  • HD Live for better volume assessment of 1st trimester anatomy & vascular structure
  • SonoBiometry – Semi-automated biometry measurement for BPD, HC, AC, & FL
  • SonoNT & SonoIT semi-automatic, standardized measurements of the nuchal and intracranial translucency in the 1st trimester.
  • Advanced OB tools such as SonoAVC follicle, SonoVCAD heart, SonoVCAD labor, Advanced STIC, Advanced Fetal Echo
  • Elastography
  • Scan Assistant
  • Automatic Image Optimization
  • Electrical Height Adjustment
GE Voluson E8 Ultrasound System

Key reasons the Philips iU22 is recommended:

  • The most popular echo system in the world for the last decade
  • 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)
  • 4D TEE: quick, reproducible, and quantifiable
  • 4D Echo: dual display mode with 4D volume and MPR
  • Pediatric TEE: S8-3t Micro TEE for patients weighing less than 2.5Kg(5.5lb)
  • X5-1 xMATRIX: 4D, color, Live xPlane, iRoate with small footprint
  • 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
  • 4D Echo with the X7-2 transducer
  • Cardiac exam volume rates up to 90 fps with the X3-1 transducer
  • Mechanical 4D transducers: VL13-5, V6-2, 3D 9-3v
  • 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
Samsung UGEO WS80A Ultrasound System

The best high-end used ultrasound machines

Recommended: 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.

high-end cardiac ultrasound

What to expect in the high-end used ultrasound category:

  • Excellent 2D and Doppler image quality
  • Excellent image quality on a broad spectrum of patient body types
  • Most advanced hardware like the premium category but no xMatrix
  • Prioritized for workflow efficiency over research focused features
  • Fusion of ultrasound with CT, MRI, or PET/CT to find regions of interest
  • Automatic image optimization and auto measurement
  • Highest level of productivity, intuitive customizable touchscreen
  • Ergonomic design, articulating arm and well-designed control panel
  • Single crystal for better signal-to-noise ratio & improved axial resolution
  • Advanced vascular tools: automatic IMT measurements and B flow
  • Strain-based and shearwave elastography
  • A wide variety of transducers
Key reasons the Samsung Accuvix A30 is recommended:
  • The hybrid beamforming engine gives the A30 high 4D processing power
  • 21.5” HD LED monitor and 10.1″ touchscreen for navigation
  • Automatically recognition tool for a baby face in 4D
  • EZ-Exam: transforms multiple steps into a streamlined process
  • HDVI (high definition volume imaging), quickly renders 4D images in one click
  • HD ADVR™ DVD (720 x 480) & USB (1920 x 1080), simultaneous scanning & recording
  • QuickScan: automatic image optimization in B-mode and Doppler
  • Three 4D convex probes (V2-6, V4-8, V5-9)
  • Cardiac application and probes also available
Philips Epiq 5 Ultrasound System
Key reasons the Philips HD15 is recommended:
  • 20” LCD monitor (but no touchscreen or articulating arm)
  • Proven stability and image quality with over a decade in the field
  • Great balance of workflow efficiency & features for demanding clinical work
  • Probes: 2 single crystal (S5-2, C5-1)
  • QLAB: Easy to use quantification tools with great reproducibility & accuracy
  • QLAB: (TMQ) tissue motion quantification, ROI quantification, auto IMT,
  • QLAB: (SQ) strain quantification
  • Advanced workflow: iSCAN one touch optimization for B/C/D
  • Fine-tune exams with active native data
  • Anatomical M-mode, Color M-mode, CW, TDI, Stress Echo
  • Full cardiac measurement package
  • SonoCT: image compounding
  • XRES: speckle reduction for noise and artifact reduction
  • Full line of transducers to support all applications
  • Multiple cardiac probes for adult, pediatrics and neonatal
  • LVO and all echocardiography applications available
  • Fine-tune exams with active native data
  • Cardiac modes:  anatomical M-mode, color M-mode, CW, TDI, stress echo
  • 4D for OB/GYN available
Philips Affiniti70

The best midrange used ultrasound machines

Recommended: 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.

Buyer's guide of Mid-range Cardiac

What to expect in the midrange used ultrasound category:

  • Good to Excellent 2D & Doppler image quality
  • Perform all routine cardiovascular exams though difficult patients may take longer
  • Cost effective platform balancing cost and performance
  • Usability and workflow good, but some limitation from sacrificing hardware
  • Full cardiac measurement package
  • Automation provided at a lower level than the high-end segment
  • 4D for OB/GYN
  • TDI: tissue Doppler imaging, some interventional & pediatric cardiac support
  • LCD monitor smaller than 20”
  • Provides most cardiac scans needed in an echo lab or hospital practice
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 fully articulating arm
  • SonoCT: Real-time image compounding
  • XRES: eliminates virtually all speckle noise and enhances border definition
  • Advanced workflow: iSCAN image optimization for B/C/D
  • IMT: Intima Media Thickness quantification
  • Huge range of different transducers for all application types
  • Sector, linear, endocavitary, and 4D probes with dedicated image presets
  • ICE Imaging with the ViewFlex imaging catheter
  • Adult & pediatric TEE
  • Cardiac modes:  Anatomical M-mode, Color M-mode, CW, TDI & Stress Echo
  • QLAB quantification: IMT, ROI, SQ, 2DQ and GI 3DQ
  • Full cardiac & vascular measurement packages
Philips Affiniti 50
Key reasons the Samsung UGEO H60 is recommended:
  • The hybrid beamforming engine gives the H60 high 4D processing power
  • 18.5” HD LED monitor and 10.1″ touch screen for navigation
  • High-end 4D features such as Volume NT & IT, 3D XI, XI STIC
  • Slim & lightweight
  • Excellent ergonomics and workflow with up-to-date H/W and S/W features
  • e-Motion Marker: displays the direction of the transducer’s beam plane on  screen
  • QuickScan
  • Mechanical 4D probes (3D2-6, VD4-8, 3D 4-9)
  • Highly responsive electrostatic touchscreen
  • Customizable keys on CP & touchscreen
  • Digital TGC on touchscreen
  • Elastography
  • Gel warmer
GE Voluson S6 Ultrasound System
Key reasons the GE Logiq P6 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
  • Cardiac: adult, pediatric, and transcranial scanning
  • Cardiac measurements and reporting
  • Cardiac: Stress Echo, Tissue Doppler Imaging, Contrast imaging, and TEE
  • Transvaginal E8C-RS and transrectal E8C
  • 4D convex, 4D microconvex, and 4D transvaginal,
  • Urology biplane transducers (C-C and C-L types)
  • High-end features: AMM, CMM, Panoramic, and, IMT
  • Raw Data Format: Ability to post process images after scanning
  • Customizable report designer
  • Real-time Auto Doppler Calculations
  • Full vascular measurement package
  • 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
Samsung Accuvix A30 Ultrasound System

The best economy used ultrasound systems

Recommended: 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.

Buyer's guide of Economy

What to expect in the economy used ultrasound category:

  • Acceptable to Good 2D & Doppler image quality
  • Perform all routine cardiac, vascular, general imaging and OB/GYN exams
  • Cost-cutting platform that emphasizes price over features or image quality
  • Acceptable usability & workflow but with limitations due to cost-cutting
  • Cardiac and OB/GYN measurements
  • Auto IMT, AMM, and continuous wave Doppler
  • Very limited automation means longer exam times
  • Image optimization and auto measurement
  • TDI: tissue Doppler imaging, some interventional & pediatric cardiac support
  • LCD monitor smaller than 20”
  • Provides most cardiac scans needed in an echo lab or hospital practice
  • Auto color, stress echo, Elastoscan, TDI or 4D for OB/GYN
Key reasons the GE Logiq P5 premium is recommended:
  • 15″ LCD monitor with fully articulating arm
  • Acceptable image quality in 2D, Doppler or 4D
  • 3 active probe ports
  • Wide set of applications like general imaging and shared service
  • 4D probes: 4D3C-L convex, 4D8C microconvex, 4DE7C endocavitary
  • Probe choices: convex, linear, sector, transvaginal, intraoperative & 4D
  • SRI: speckle reduction
  • CrossXBeam: compound imaging
  • Automatic optimization for B/C/D
  • Ergonomics: front and rear handle, probe cable hanger and probe holder
  • 5 different adult and pediatric sector probes with CW mode
  • Cardiac, vascular, OB/GYN & GI measurements, calculations, and reports
  • Auto IMT, B-flow, strain based elastography, TVI, coded contrast, panoramic & 4D
  • Write/Read/Pan Zoom
  • ViewPoint: reporting and image management for electronic reports
  • Customizable report designer
GE Logiq P5 premium Ultrasound System

The best used portable ultrasound systems

Recommended: 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.

Buyer's guide of Portable Ultrasound

What to expect in the used portable ultrasound category:

  • Acceptable to Good 2D & Doppler image quality
  • Perform all routine cardiac, vascular, general imaging and OB/GYN exams
  • Cost-cutting platform that emphasizes price over features or image quality
  • Acceptable usability & workflow but with limitations due to cost-cutting
  • Cardiac and OB/GYN measurements
  • Auto IMT, AMM, and continuous wave Doppler
  • Very limited automation means longer exam times
  • Image optimization and auto measurement
  • TDI: tissue Doppler imaging, some interventional & pediatric cardiac support
  • LCD monitor smaller than 20”
  • Provides most cardiac scans needed in an echo lab or hospital practice
  • Auto color, stress echo, Elastoscan, TDI or 4D for OB/GYN
Key reasons the GE Voluson i is recommended:
  • Unique high-end 4D solution with excellent 3/4D image quality
  • Various premium 3/4D features and transducers for extended exams
  • Slim and lightweight (5.6Kg, 12.3lb)
  • 6 Mechanical 4D probes: (RAB2-5, RAB2-6, RAB4-8, RIC5-9W, RSP6-16, RNA5-9)
  • Automatic Optimization (B/D)
  • TUI (Tomographic Ultrasound Imaging)
  • STIC
  • SonoNT
  • SonoRender Start
  • SonoAVCfollicle
  • SonoVCADheart
  • SonoVCADlabor
GE Voluson-i Portable Ultrasound System
Key reasons the GE Vivid-i is recommended:
  • Good to acceptable cardiac performance
  • GE TruScan architecture for raw image quality
  • Tissue Synchronization Imaging
  • Full range of transducers for adult to pediatric scans
  • Excellent image quality, advanced quantification, and streamlined workflow
  • Competitive advantage of ICE for interventional echo
  • Parametric imaging and quantitative tools allowing in-depth analysis
  • Automated quantification
  • Auto EF: automated, speckle-tracking ROI to access LV ejection fraction
  • One touch image optimization
  • 2D TEE probe
GE Voluson-i Portable Ultrasound System
Key reasons the Samsung UGEO HM70A is recommended:
  • Affordable midrange 4D solution with great price vs. performance
  • Slim and lightweight (6.1Kg, 13.7lb)
  • EZ-Exam: transforms multiple steps into a streamlined process
  • HDVI (High Definition Volume Imaging) quickly renders 4D images at the touch of a button
  • Full Screen Mode: Expand the image area to fit the entire screen
  • HD ADVR™, integrated DVD (720 x 480) and USB (Full HD 1920 x 1080), permits simultaneous scanning and recording,
  • QuickScan(B/D)
  • 1 mechanical 4D convex probe (VN4-8)
  • 4D modes: Surface 3D, Multi-slice, Multi-planar, & real time 4D
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
Samsung Medison UGEO HM70A

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