Leading Health Care Group Purchasing Organization Adds State-of-Art,Hand-Carried Ultrasound Systems to its National Contract Portfolio
BOTHELL, WA - March 27, 2006 - Sonosite, Inc. (Nasdaq:SONO), the world leader in hand-carried ultrasound, today announced it has signed a new three-year, group purchasing agreement with Premier Purchasing Partners, LP for hand-carried ultrasound equipment, accessories and service. Premier Inc. is a strategic healthcare alliance entirely owned by more than 200 of the nation's leading not-for profit hospital and healthcare systems. These organizations operate or are affiliated with nearly 1,400 hospital facilities and 37,000 other care sites.
"Sonosite has had a long-standing relationship with Premier and we are pleased to again be selected as a provider of hand-carried ultrasound systems across the broad spectrum of clinical applications," said Kevin M. Goodwin, Sonosite President and CEO. "Our aim is to help clinicians in the Premier system deliver the highest quality care by designing ultrasound systems that can provide immediate answers and procedural guidance at the point of patient care."
With the broadest product line in the hand-carried ultrasound market, Sonosite is well positioned to serve the diverse needs of Premier's members and affiliates. Versatile and durable, Sonosite's hand-carried systems reduce the time, risk and expense of transporting patients to an imaging center by providing high quality imaging at the bedside or wherever the patient is located. Sonosite systems are designed to withstand the rigors of highly mobile use, can be battery operated for hours, and boot up in seconds for immediate scanning.
Sonosite's newest product, the MicroMaxx system, which incorporates Sonosite's third generation of hand-carried ultrasound technology, began shipping in June 2005 and represents a revolutionary crossover point between hand-carried and cart-based systems. Weighing approximately eight pounds and with the size and appearance of a notebook computer, the MicroMaxx system delivers high-resolution image quality at a fraction of the cost of larger, heavier cart-based systems. It is so durable that a 5-year warranty on the system and most of its transducers comes standard, dramatically lowering ownership costs in an industry that typically charges 7-10% of a product's purchase price in annual service contracts.
In addition to the MicroMaxx system, the Sonosite product line includes the TITAN system, the 180PLUS and iLook systems. All range in weight from three to eight pounds. In a recent independently conducted survey commissioned by the company, customers gave Sonosite's products an overall satisfaction rating of 97% based on image quality, ease of use, durability, reliability and ergonomic transducer design.
Sonosite, Inc. (www.sonosite.com) is the innovator and world leader in hand-carried ultrasound, with an installed base of more than 25,000 systems. Headquartered near Seattle, Sonosite is represented by eight subsidiaries and a global distribution network in over 75 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 approximately 500 people worldwide.
About Premier Inc.
Premier Inc. helps hospitals accelerate performance on both clinical outcomes and supply chain costs. Premier is a healthcare alliance entirely owned by more than 200 of the nation's leading not-for-profit hospital and healthcare systems. These organizations operate or are affiliated with nearly 1,500 hospitals and more than 38,500 other healthcare sites. Premier Purchasing Partners provides alliance members with group purchasing and supply chain improvement services. Members purchase more than $25 billion worth of supplies and equipment through Premier's contracts annually. Premier Healthcare Informatics offers performance measurement, benchmarking, and reporting products and advisory services supporting quality improvement. Premier Insurance Management Services helps hospitals manage insurance costs and improve risk management and claims capabilities. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Premier has offices in Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, and Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.premierinc.com.