Imaging technology advance offered on MicroMaxx curved array probes
Benefits broadly applicable across EMED, Critical Care, Anesthesia and Office exams
BOTHELL, WA - June 13, 2007 - SonoSite, Inc. (Nasdaq: SONO), the world leader in hand-carried ultrasound, announced today that its widely acclaimed SonoMB„¢ imaging advance is now available on its curved array probes, thereby extending this valuable technology to a broad range of exam types. The company began customer shipments of new MicroMaxx® systems incorporating the SonoMB technology early this week. It is available as a software upgrade at no charge to existing MicroMaxx customers. SonoMB technology is a proprietary SonoSite imaging algorithm that dramatically improves contrast resolution and reduces ultrasound artifact while providing exceptional frame rates and superior image quality for the clinician. The result is increased resolution in both the near and far field, finer definition of small structures and improved visualization of physiology and subtle tissue differences. The expansion of SonoMB technology announced today has applicability for virtually all exam types in emergency medicine, critical care, anesthesia and physician office applications.
Getting Answers Fast
"We have been using the MicroMaxx system for the past 18 months and have been very pleased with its performance," said Bob Jarman, FRCS (Ed) FCEM, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a 680-bed hospital in Northern England. "However, we were quite taken aback by the image resolution offered by SonoMB on the curved array probe, particularly for deep abdominal scanning. We are getting images as good as anything they are getting with the big machines, even the sonographers are impressed, and we don't have to tinker with a lot of knobs to get it, which is important when time is of the essence."
SonoMB technology clearly enhances the visualization of this small hemangioma in the liver
"It seems that SonoSite is the only company producing products that are tailored for the emergency department," Dr. Jarman added. "We wanted something that was rugged, lightweight and portable with a range of features. Other machines seemed bulky and had many features and knobs that were not necessary for our needs and often looked quite delicate."Dr. Jarman's colleague, Jim Connolly, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Newcastle General Hospital, a tertiary hospital in England, agrees. "We are impressed by how quick and hassle-free it is to get a good image. It's a sharper image, with better border definition. The new functionality is quite valuable, particularly when we need answers within seconds."
Advantages for a Broad Range of Clinical Applications
Initially introduced in April 2007 for the L25e and HFL38 high frequency linear transducers, SonoSite has now integrated SonoMB technology into four additional transducers, the C60e, C11e, L38e and SLA, to offer expanded clinical applicability for abdominal, vascular, musculoskeletal and small parts exams as well as for guidance of regional nerve blocks and placement of central venous catheters and PICC lines. As part of the enhanced capabilities, the company has also expanded the availability of its "one button push" Auto Gain feature that automatically adjusts controls to provide the optimum image."SonoMB makes a big difference in resolving small structures; it's a crisper image," said Shaunie Keys, MD, an OB/Gyn physician with Evergreen Medical Center of Kirkland, Washington.
"I can see more tissue detail. Even when imaging six and seven-week fetuses, it does not lose resolution when magnified." Dr. Keys turns to the MicroMaxx several times a day in her busy office practice. "I don't want to wait for availability of the big system down the hall," she stated. "The MicroMaxx system is small and portable. I can easily bring it into the exam room and can give my patients an answer right then and there rather than having them wait."
The septation in this ovarian cyst is clearly seen using SonoMB technology. The noise levels within the bladder are also dramatically reduced.
Robert S. Weller, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University of Winston-Salem, North Carolina notes that the small footprint and excellent resolution of the C11e probe for deep structures is particularly useful for larger patients, and for those whose anatomy constrains probe manipulation. "The addition of SonoMB technology to this probe provides better, early visualization of the needle making regional nerve blocks safer and more comfortable for the patient," he stated. "The image is smoother and clearer, with less artifact, making it easier to distinguish neural structures. In my opinion, it is far better to perform procedures with a single needle pass using ultrasound guidance, rather than to hunt around blindly. Ultrasound guidance is one of the most important advances in regional anesthesia in the last 20 years."Xavier Sala-Blanch, MD, Staff Anesthesiologist in the ambulatory surgery unit of the Clinic Hospital of the University of Barcelona, Spain pointed to the rising use of ultrasound in anesthesia. "There is no going back. Ultrasound guidance in regional anesthesia is growing rapidly.
Training and ultrasound equipment, like the MicroMaxx system, that is small, high performance, easy to use and durable, are essential to increased adoption of this valuable technique. SonoMB is a significant advance and provides image resolution that is similar to what was only available before on the much larger systems. We get excellent visualization of nerves and better identification of the needle in the ultrasound screen. This means more security and reduced pain for patients during the regional anesthesia procedure."
The flexibility of the MicroMaxx system architecture together with its programmable transducers make it possible for SonoSite to offer the enhanced performance from SonoMB technology as a software upgrade. Customers can easily and securely upgrade their MicroMaxx systems to the new capabilities via compact flash card. "The image quality is beautiful," said Jens Doeffert, MD, Senior Physician in the Department of Anesthesiology, Plattenwald Hospital in Bad Friedrichshall, near Stuttgart, Germany. "It's hard to believe it's available with only a software upgrade."
SonoSite, Inc (www.sonosite.com) is the innovator and worldwide leader in hand-carried ultrasound. Headquartered near Seattle, the company is represented by eight subsidiaries and a global distribution network in over 90 countries. SonoSite's small, lightweight systems are expanding the use of ultrasound across the clinical spectrum by cost-effectively bringing high performance ultrasound to the point of patient care. The company employs over 550 people worldwide.