SonoSite Introduces a Major Breakthrough in Cardiac Hand-carried Ultrasound

The SonoHeart ELITE Hand-carried Ultrasound System Debuts with Accolades from Cardiologists and Sonographers Nationwide

Complete Echocardiography Capabilities in a Full-Featured Hand-Carried Ultrasound System, Weighing Less than Six Pounds

BOTHELL, WA, February 4, 2002 - SonoSite, Inc. (Nasdaq: SONO) today introduces the SonoHeart ELITE system, the first all-digital, hand-carried ultrasound system with continuous wave (CW) Doppler and Extended Resolution Harmonic (ERH) Imaging. The new capabilities allow for quantification of blood flow in the heart with CW Doppler and enhanced two-dimensional image quality with ERH.

This new system, developed in response to market feedback, now allows trained clinicians to perform complete cardiac ultrasound exams in any number of clinical settings. SonoSite previewed the SonoHeart ELITE system to various physicians and sonographers throughout the United States. As a result, the Company has received several order commitments from clinicians involved in the preference evaluations.

The system will be showcased at the upcoming 2002 Scientific Session Exposition of the American College of Cardiology in Atlanta, Georgia, scheduled March17-20, in booth 4943 (Hall B). "The SonoHeart ELITE system is superb with its combination of image quality, mobility and price," said Michael A. LaCorte, MD, FAAP, FACC, Chairman of Pediatrics, Brooklyn Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York. "

Now, we have a high quality, comprehensive echocardiography system that we can literally carry anywhere. It is extremely important for us to provide our patients with the best possible care and the SonoHeart ELITE will absolutely enable us to maintain this level of service." "We use state-of-the-art cart-based systems," said Judy Mangione, MD, Director of Echocardiography, Northshore University, Manhasset, New York. "I was very impressed with the image quality of the SonoHeart ELITE - it is comparable to larger, traditional ultrasound equipment

. It is amazing that CW Doppler, Harmonic and color imaging of this quality is available in such a small device." "The ELITE is an extraordinary technological advancement that should revolutionize echocardiography," said Baxter Montgomery, MD, FACC, Houston Cardiac Associates, Houston, Texas. "At about five pounds, its image quality exceeds that of systems greater than 80-times its weight."

Added Imaging Capabilities, Same Small Size
The SonoHeart Elite system includes the following new features:

  • Continuous wave (CW) Doppler provides sensitive and accurate assessment of blood flow with a simple, intuitive user interface. The sensitivity and clear signal quality compares favorably to CW Doppler found on much larger, more expensive ultrasound systems.
  • Extended Resolution Harmonics (ERH) provides clarity without sacrificing penetration or fine anatomic detail.

In addition to new features, the SonoHeart ELITE platform also provides enhancements to the 2D and color imaging. Higher frame rates, better signal to noise ratio, and improved filtering enable clinicians to achieve even better resolution of anatomy and pathology.

"The introduction of the SonoHeart ELITE system continues our strong track record of innovation and meeting customer expectations," said Kevin M. Goodwin, president and CEO, SonoSite, Inc. "We believe, the addition of the SonoHeart ELITE system represents, yet again, a unique hand-carried ultrasound solution and another source of potential market expansion for SonoSite. In fact, we have received several order commitments from clinicians who have previewed the system."

Clinically Validated Performance
The SonoHeart platform, upon which the SonoHeart ELITE system is built, has been repeatedly validated in clinical studies published in medical journals and presented at medical meetings around the world. The studies have demonstrated the platform's diagnostic accuracy, high image quality and ease of use, patient care benefits, and cost-efficiency, in a variety of clinical settings. Examples include:

  • The Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (January 2002) published results of a study, from which investigators concluded that the SonoHeart "allows rapid and accurate diagnosis, whenever needed" and that "the SonoHeart device is easy to use, is ultraportable with excellent imaging quality." They stated that the SonoHeart "has proven to be as reliable as the SE [Standard Echo systems] for the rapid detection or exclusion of [abnormalities]."
  • Results of two studies presented at the 2001 American Society of Echocardiography Meeting feature the SonoHeart system. Studies show the SonoHeart system successful in patient bedside management and sufficient for cardiac assessment of infants and children.
  • The SonoHeart platform was featured in four presentations at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the European Society of Cardiology. Investigators concluded the SonoHeart system offers efficient and successful low-cost screening of abdominal aortic aneurysms as well as left ventricular hypertrophy and is helpful in bedside and physical examinations.

These studies, and others involving the SonoHeart Platform, are available in their entirety on SonoSite's corporate website at http://www.sonosite.com.

About SonoSite
SonoSite, Inc. (www.sonosite.com) is the innovator and world leader in hand-carried ultrasound, with an installed base of more than 20,000 systems. The Company, headquartered near Seattle, Washington is represented by eight subsidiaries and a global distribution netwok 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 450 people worldwide.