Purchasing an ultrasound is a large investment for most small animal practices therefore it is paramount to carry out thorough research. Below we have prepared 5 important questions to help you make a more informed decision.
Q1. Does the ultrasound system come with veterinary specific presets?
Specific presets can be a major advantage in a veterinary application as it minimises the amount of adjustments needed to achieve a good image on a variety of different species.
For example, you can set up the system to look at a cat’s abdomen versus a dog’s heart and the algorithms behind the image will change appropriately. This will also choose the frequency, contrast, depth and focus settings to give you a good starting point so you are ready to go with minimal adjustment. In addition to presets, probe selection is an important factor when purchasing ultrasound.
(Mindray M7Vet Ultrasound System)
Q2. Is the ultrasound system easy to use?
All ultrasound systems are different, some easier to use than others. When trying the equipment, make sure you find it intuitive to use, looking at how easy it is to add patient details, adjust, freeze and save the image as well as retrieving this information when you are done.
Q3. Should my ultrasound system be portable?
Don’t be fooled into thinking bigger is better. Just think about how powerful laptops and mobile phones are these days?
One major advantage of portable ultrasound is that it is easy to move around. This means it can be put away when not in use or when space in the clinic is limited, it can be shared between consult rooms and service is easy as it can be packed up and sent away. Of course if you like it on wheels, most portable scanners can be optioned with a trolley also.
Q4. How much should a small animal ultrasound system cost?
Budget is always something that is considered when purchasing any capital equipment and ultrasound is no different.
Black and white ultrasound systems can range from as little as $7,000 up to $14,000. Ultrasound scanners with optional software’s like Colour Doppler generally range from $14,000 right up to $100,000 or more. When considering the price of ultrasound, you may want to decide whether or not you need Colour Doppler?
Generally the more you invest, the better the image quality you can achieve. The better the image quality, the easier it is to interpret the image. But don’t be fooled only by price, as we all know technology is fast moving which makes last year’s technology break through affordable for today’s general practice.
Q5. Which company should I choose when buying my ultrasound system?
Things to consider here are the benefits that are provided to a customer as a whole package.
- Support – A company with in house service that can also provide break down loan systems if and when required to minimise any down time.
- Wide range of products – We feel it is important to seek partners that offer a range of ultrasound systems to find one that specifically suits your needs.
- Training – It is important to seek partners that have the equipment knowledge and offer the clinical training so you can gain the skills necessary in order to get the best out of your investment.
(SonoSite EDGE Ultrasound System)