Major Advancement for Regional Nerve Blocks and Other Injection Based Procedures
Highly Advanced Algorithms Were Developed Over Two Years and Aimed at Solving the Disappearing Needle Phenomenon in Anesthesia
BOTHELL, WA - July 13, 2010 - Sonosite, Inc. (Nasdaq:SONO), the world leader and specialist in bedside and point-of-care ultrasound, today introduced Enhanced Needle Visualization, a significant development in ultrasound imaging that enables improved needle tracking with increased confidence during deep needle procedures. Enhanced Needle Visualization is a proprietary imaging technology that intensifies the brightness of the needle, making it clearly visible during a steep angle approach to a deep target, conditions under which the needle has previously been difficult to image. Enhanced Needle Visualization is now available as a software upgrade for Sonosite's M-Turbo® and S Series™ ultrasound product lines.
Sonosite's Enhanced Needle Visualization technology is the first fully-integrated solution to resolve the "lost needle phenomenon,"1which has been an accepted constraint for needle-guidance since the creation of ultrasound imaging. Developed over the last two years, Sonosite's engineers collaborated with physicians worldwide and challenged the conventional principles of ultrasound system design to break new grounds for needle visibility. As a result, the revolutionary Enhanced Needle Visualization technology was introduced for Sonosite ultrasound systems.
1 Miller, Gabriel. "Study Ranks Needle Visibility Under Ultrasound." Pain Medicine News. Mar. 2010. Web. www.painmedicinenews.com.
"Enhanced Needle Visualization is a unique, proprietary technology that cannot be found in any other ultrasound product, including large cart-based systems," said Jim Gilmore, Sonosite's Senior Vice President of Product Innovation and Delivery. "This technology adaptively enhances the ultrasound visualization of needles at steep angles without compromising tissue image quality."
Enhanced Needle Visualization is fully-integrated into the architecture of Sonosite's systems and can be operated with a simple on/off button, enabling physicians to potentially decrease procedure time and considerably reduce costs per procedure.
"With clear needle visibility at deep and steep angles, Sonosite's Enhanced Needle Visualization allows me to more confidently perform a nerve block and provide better medicine to my patients," said David Auyong, MD, Staff Anesthesiologist, Seattle, Washington. "This streamlined technology can also be activated at the touch of a button, which allows me to operate more efficiently and ultimately save money. When I am performing a nerve block, I want to be able to turn on the ultrasound system, place the transducer and insert the needle. With Enhanced Needle Visualization, I will not need to spend an extra five to ten minutes setting up additional equipment or finding echogenic needles, which streamlines my practice."
"Sonosite's Enhanced Needle Visualization technology is extremely impressive," said Mimi Lee, MD, Anesthesiology Consultants of Marin, located in California. "This is going to eliminate any difficulties I have with accurately visualizing the shaft of the needle and it will decrease the time it takes to perform a steep needle procedure. This is also an excellent teaching tool for residents who are relatively unfamiliar with ultrasound and the different techniques; I think they will pick up the technology immediately."
"We are elated by the response so far by physician users in the marketplace for this breakthrough in point-of-care visualization," said Kevin M. Goodwin, Sonosite's President and CEO. "This is a major advancement in needle guidance for medicine. We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from physicians around the world who have had the opportunity to assess Enhanced Needle Visualization. Physicians have commented that this technology will become the new industry standard for needle visualization. Enhanced Needle Visualization has already helped us to win a number of orders in the competitive market environment and we are anticipating strong product demand."
Enhanced Needle Visualization supports Sonosite's continuous efforts to provide physicians with innovative solutions to improve patient safety. This breakthrough technology is currently offered on Sonosite's HFL50 and HFL38 transducers for peripheral nerve block applications. Sonosite expects to expand applications for Enhanced Needle Visualization technology to a broad range of point-of-care specialties, including breast surgeons, musculoskeletal specialists, endocrinologists, interventional radiologists and emergency medicine physicians. Sonosite has applied for patent protection for this significant advance in needle visualization technology.
Sonosite, Inc. (www.sonosite.com) is the innovator and world leader in bedside and point-of-care ultrasound and an industry leader in ultra high-frequency micro-ultrasound technology and impedance cardiography equipment. Headquartered near Seattle, the company is represented by ten subsidiaries and a global distribution network in over 100 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.
Forward-looking Information and the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995 Certain statements in this press release relating to the expected benefits of of Enhanced Needle Visualization technology, including market acceptance of products incorporating Enhanced Needle Visualization technology and new market and sales opportunities for Sonosite, and other statements regarding future results are "forward-looking statements" for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of our management at the time the statements are made and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements are not guaranties of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on potentially inaccurate assumptions. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements include: the risk that the technology will not yield the expected potential benefits, including the risk that we are unsuccessful in achieving market acceptance of this technology, and the potential for competitive technologies, as well as other factors contained in the Item 1A. "Risk Factors" section of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We caution readers not to place undue reliance upon these forward-looking statements that speak only as to the date of this release. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated even.