Upgrade Provides Complete Capabilities for Echo Studies;Addresses $460 Million International Shared Services Market
BOTHELL, WA, June 23, 2004 - Sonosite, Inc. (Nasdaq: SONO), the worldwide leader in high-performance, hand-carried ultrasound, said today that it has begun customer shipments of cardiology/shared service capabilities for the TITAN system, the Company's most advanced, high resolution, hand-carried system.
"This upgrade represents our fourth major expansion of the TITAN system's capabilities since its introduction a little over a year ago," said Kevin M. Goodwin, Sonosite President and CEO. "This latest release enables physicians to perform full echocardiography and vascular studies in the clinic or at the point-of-care, allowing for earlier diagnosis and treatment. It also addresses the need of many of our international customers who require a shared service system that can perform both radiology and cardiology examinations. The shared service market is estimated to account for at least 20% of the $2.3 billion international ultrasound market."
The TITAN system utilizes Sonosite's proprietary ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) technology to integrate millions of transistors onto one circuit, thereby providing exceptional imaging performance in a highly compact and durable design. Weighing only 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg.), the TITAN system boots up in less than 12 seconds, is easy to use and can be hand carried to wherever it is needed to immediately deliver patient care efficiently and effectively.
The TITAN 2.2 cardiology upgrade offers full cardiac and vascular calculation packages, pulsed and steerable continuous wave Doppler, Tissue Harmonic Imaging, velocity-based color Doppler and M-Mode. Sonosite also expanded the system's DICOM capabilities in this upgrade with the addition of DICOM Modality Worklist. These features are typically found on larger, more expensive ultrasound systems. The TITAN system has all the capabilities necessary to perform echocardiography studies that meet the standards required by payers for a complete echocardiography examination.
Introduced in May 2003 for multiple imaging applications, the TITAN system has gained rapid acceptance in both the United States and international markets and now accounts for approximately 50% of Sonosite's revenues. Prior upgrades have added enhanced connectivity as well as expanded capabilities for the radiology, vascular and Ob/gyn markets. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and Europe. Moreover, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that more than one million Americans will also die of cardiovascular disease in 2004. Prompt and accurate diagnosis of cardiovascular disease is critical to improving a patient's prognosis.
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.