We'll get off the GE kick soon, but most of the stuff we've been selling has been GE. We're starting to spend a lot more time with the Siemens equipment and we love the Titan, but right now, I'm pretty excited about the GE Logiq 7. We've done a small video with its 4D on and a couple carotid arteries at the GPS Medical website.
I'd heard in recent years the Logiq 7 has really come out of its shell and become an excellent performing machine. We've seen it, but only in our testing area here. We did some real-world stuff with it last week and trained a sonographer on the system who was coming from an Acuson Aspen. After having trained people on a Logiq 9 coming from an XP-10, I thought the training would be a uphill battle for a couple reasons:
The touchscreen. Some people really struggle with a touchscreen, particularly those coming from command-based user interfaces such as older Acuson (XP-10, Aspen, Sequoia). Sonographers, as a whole, typically avoid change, and to completely redirect how they're interfacing with the machine can be a battle because you're taking away their efficiency.
4D imaging. We also introduced 4D imaging to the sonographer... so this would be a tough one too. For a tech who's been scanning for many years, this can frustrate and confuse some techs.
In both counts, the Logiq 7 was a success. We didn't really even play much with the advanced features such as CrossXBeam or SRI (Speckle Reduction Imaging), but we really took advantage of the customization and image optimization features.
This Logiq 7 is much like all the other current-generation ultrasound systems. It's Windows-based and is touchscreen driven. But here's the big difference: image optimization. It has auto optimization, but we find that sonographers like their images a certain way... and they like to take measurements a certain way. GE nailed it on this one. For starters, you can adjust dynamic range and grey maps on-the-fly, REAL-TIME on the image your scanning without switching screens or going to a buried menu. It allows you to select from more than 20 different grey maps, and allows you to see ON THE LIVE IMAGE how each affects your image, allowing you to QUICKLY select the best for what you're scanning. Same with the Dynamic Range and frequency controls. This was a subtle, yet huge feature as well as the other image optimization features on this touchscreen. They've finally given the control back to the sonographer and not force-fed their own stuff. Kudos on this one.
This is going to be one of our newly most recommended systems (we liked it before, but we really get it now). It's not without its problems, though. Exporting images in a nonDicom format to DVD was very difficult. In fact, it froze the machine. Second, the touchscreen can be a bit frustrating as its reaction time can be really slow. Iimpatient folks, such as myself, get a bit annoyed. However, if I were a tech receiving this system, I would absolutely be willing to put up with it for the image quality and features on the system. Third, the presets on this system leave a bit to be desired. We highly recommend having someone come in and do applications with you on this system (this is a service we provide, as well).. The Logiq 7 has a limited amount of presets (and I have lots of questions about why they did things a certain way), but they allow you to overwrite the factory presets and create some customized presets. You should do this. Some are OK, but everyone has their own idea of what makes a perfect image. And finally, I don't know why, but the presets won't save with Harmonics in an active position. I've got to look into this one. I dug everywhere in the manuals and online for this issue but haven't resolved it yet. I'll need to call GE on this one.
The 4D imaging was impressive, too. The frame rates weren't smokin', but who cares? If you want a solid machine and good 4D, I don't know why you wouldn't give this a serious look.. It's better than the Medison systems and the image quality is really good. Again, the factory presets aren't very good here and you won't get good images without some help, but all this is quickly overcome and should be done an any system anyway. So once you're set, the images are very very good. Patients were ecstatic, as usual, when you can flip a nice photo of their baby up on the screen.
Penetration was also very good and this is where the system has its advantages: We had an overweight 30-plus-week pregnant woman, heavy smoker and heavily calcified placenta in the office. She was large and pretty difficult to image. With a few clicks on the touchscreen, I was able to create the "perfect" image for the sonographer and save her very own preset for similar patients... we were able to go to a low frequency, change the grey map and adjust the dynamic range quickly and easily. The tech was very happy, and I was impressed with the ease in which we were able to make the adjustments on the Logiq 7. The baby's organs were so clear, and the doctor couldn't believe her eyes when we went through a couple fetal hearts.
We never got to any GYN studies, so I wasn't able to really see the CrossXBeam shine, but in a testament to the machine, we didn't really even need to consider it as the system did very well without it on ever.
We did some carotids here in the office, but I didn't really get too heavy into the presets. My tech friends have said they're happy with the penetration the Logiq 7 provides in vascular, but when we tested it on a 300-plus pound male with arrythmia (see video), it was wasn't that great. I was told that this was probably because the presets needed to be tweaked more. I can see their point after using the system in the real-world for the day. The presets aren't great. We'll have to take another look later on. The image on my carotid was great, however, but I'm an avid runner and a normal weight so I'm not a great example, although you can see the color flow of my carotid in the Logiq 7 Video on our website.
As always, you can email me with questions about this system or anything else. I've got a couple systems here I'm still trying to get to. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see.