This week at ACOG, GE announced another portable Voluson product, the Voluson e. This should be an intersting litle unit. If you're not familiar with GE's "i" and "e" series, basically the e is the lower-end model and "i" is the premium, specialized model. They use the "e" products (such as the Vivid e) to help break into smaller or emerging markets where budgets are more limited and/or ultrasound isn't the a primary function (or a less-oft used function), such as an ER of a small hospital, family practice unit, etc. (The exception here is the Logiq e, which is the high-end portable over the Logiqbook XP).
The press release is here. My comments follow...
SAN DIEGO, MAY 7, 2007 ¯ GE Healthcare launches today the Voluson e system, a compact ultrasound system designed specifically for women’s healthcare, including obstetric, gynecological, and other clinical applications. The portability of this approximately 11-pound system can provide high-quality imaging at the patient bedside and for community clinics, where space constraints are possible. This new compact system, on the heels of last year’s launch of the Voluson i, also allows clinicians to make real-time diagnoses, particularly for high-risk patients. The Voluson e is being showcased May 7-9 in GE Healthcare’s booth #1523 in exhibit halls C-H, at the 55th Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in San Diego.
The Voluson e is specifically designed for uses in labor and delivery, gynecological exams and studies and assisted reproductive medicine.
According to Omar Ishrak, president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s Clinical Systems business, there is a need for more specialized, high-quality point of care systems to meet the growing demands for on-the-spot diagnosis. “The Voluson e and Voluson i address one of the biggest challenges OB/GYN physicians face in caring for their high-risk patients – access to complete, real-time information that allows them to make clinical decisions at the patient’s bedside with confidence,” Ishrak said.
While we were really impressed with the 4D on the Voluson i, It'll be interesting to see how much they disabled for the Voluson e. I can't imagine how much they can remove from the image quality on this unit. I'm guessing it's a bit smaller of a unit, but I can't be sure. It's probably missing CrossXBeam and SRI. My biggest concern is the penetration... the Voluson doesn't really compare to the Logiq ultrasounds in penetration, and slamming this thing into a lower-end laptop could have an impact in its power and performance.
Our look at the Voluson i is below, and that will also link you to a video of an in-house exam on the unit.