Jeff Hough


Over the last decade, ultrasound technology has become increasingly sophisticated and it is now possible to deliver significant capability in a small, portable system. These smaller, lightweight systems can be brought to the patient in an emergency situation, moved from room to room within a hospital or transported to the point of care. The advantages of a portable ultrasound unit include ease of use, diagnosis at the point of care, and lower acquisition costs.

Providers that elect portable over standard ultrasounds find value in flexibility. These units excel in general imaging, PICC line insertion, and point of care applications. Where space is constrained, the small footprint is ideal for examination suites. Another significant benefit is increased utilization as the system can be shared between departments or users, reducing idle time.

If you are considering purchasing a portable ultrasound, here are 4 things to consider before buying a unit:

1. Usage: Consider how often the equipment will be used, on how many patients and the number and type of scans. Also, assess the environment in which the equipment will be utilized. Will it be shared between multiple rooms or used by more than one physician or sonographer? These considerations will determine the product features and model type that are optimal to your situation..

2. Know exactly what application(s) you are using the unit for: Matching the technology with your actual clinical requirements can save thousands of dollars. Everyone wants the latest and greatest features and functionalities, but many times these specialized features are not required or improve reimbursement. With more advanced features comes a more expensive price tag. Evaluating your practice’s clinical requirements will help you focus on the right equipment for the best return on investment.

3. Price: Consider how the price of a portable ultrasound compares to a standard unit. For example, a portable ultrasound will produce basic images with similar resolution at a reduced cost. Refurbished equipment is another way to acquire the right technology at a lower price. Refurbished units are tested for functionality and defects before they are sold. Portable ultrasounds are a worthwhile option if you are trying to upgrade your technology while saving money. In addition to the initial cost of the equipment, you should also consider repairs, parts, and maintenance. Will you keep the system under a full service contract or perhaps a parts only contract while utilizing outside service personnel on a time and materials basis?

4. Consider multiple OEMs & refurbished options: When sourcing any capital equipment, it’s important to introduce an element of competition within the group of potential suppliers. Even if the preferred clinical choice is known, don’t reveal that to potential vendors until they have provided their best offer on price. Even if you’ve decided on a new system, get a quote for refurbished options, as this signals that price is important to any vendors competing for your business.Many hospitals lose their negotiating leverage over price and features by revealing their preferences to a single, preferred vendor too early in the process. Physicians and sonographers should be coached on this important point before talking to vendors.

As an industry leading supplier of portable ultrasound equipment, we provide an extensive inventory of portable ultrasound machines for sale and lease with models from the top manufacturers such as GE, SonoSite, and Philips. Our medical equipment experts will walk with you through the equipment acquisition process to determine your specific requirements to make sure you are getting the right equipment for the best price. Call +1 (855) 980-4578 or send an email to [email protected] for more details or to speak with a medical equipment specialist.