For years used ultrasound machines were looked down upon as being of questionable reliability, however during the last recession tighter budgets forced many medical professionals to reconsider this belief. A refurbished or well-maintained used ultrasound machine that is 2-6 years old is significantly less expensive while maintaining features and power nearly identical to brand new versions of the same model. Higher quality brands made during the last decade have reliability that makes them last far longer than ultrasound machines of the previous generation. Also most higher quality brands will continue making the same model for longer, updating the software and hardware, but still producing parts and probes compatible with the older models. This greatly expands the lifespan of a high quality brand’s used or refurbished ultrasound machine over lower quality brands that change models completely after only a few years. The Two top of the line ultrasound machines that offer the greatest value when purchased used are the GE Voluson E8 and the Philips iU22. Both have long, proven history and are solid and reliable with ongoing production of parts and probes for years to come, even if they are eventually phased out of production by the newer GE Voluson E10, and Philips Epiq 5. The Voluson E8, (especially when equipped with “HD live” (BT12 and above) is still a top of the line 4D OB/GYN ultrasound machine only slightly less impressive than the brand new and very expensive E10. The Philips iU22 remains versatile high-end ultrasound machine and for now a more reliable option than the Epiq 5 which has had some software issues as all brand new designs always do. KPI considers both the Voluson E8 and the Philips iU22 at the top of the “BEST” or most advanced ultrasound machine segment.
When selecting the best mid-range used ultrasound machine value, you are invariably picking previous top-of-the-line ultrasound machines that have been replaced at the top, but retail a deep feature set and very good image quality. Reliability and parts availability are also important considerations. KPI considers the Medison Accuvix XG, and the GE Logiq 9 as currently the best values in the “BETTER” category. The Accuvix XG is the newer machine having only recently been replaced by the Samsung A30. Both have very similar image quality and features. The Accuvix XG excels at 4D imaging and is based on the same technology as the Voluson 730. GE actually purchased the Voluson from Medison years ago. Unlike the Voluson line, the Accuvix line is a true shared service system with good cardiac, vascular, and general imaging capabilities as well. The GE Logiq 9 has a long history having only recently been discontinued. However the Logiq 9 shares many parts and probes with other systems like the Logiq 7, and Logiq 5 so there will be parts and probes available for years to come and GE still manufactures many of the probes for this system. The Logiq 9 is a great all around imager but is an older design than the XG and only the newer versions had LCD screens. The Logiq 9 is also large and heavy in the way that all ultrasound systems were not too long ago. KPI considers both the Medison Accuvix XG and the GE Logiq 9 as the best values in the midrange or “BETTER” segment.
Used entry level machines often don’t get much consideration as had basic imaging to begin with and short feature sets, it usually makes sense to buy an older mid-range or high-end ultrasound machine instead. However the exception to this are the premium entry level units from highly reliable brands. These units may have more basic feature sets but the imaging is solid as is the reliability and workflow. In this case buying a refurbished or used economy ultrasound machine that is only a few years old gives you the same power you would have buying the same ultrasound machine new, but saves several thousand dollars without sacrificing anything. For these reasons KPI considers the Siemens X300 premium and GE Logiq P5 premium as the top entry level ultrasound machine values in the used segment. The Siemens X300 premium is straddles the line between entry level and mid-range, and has a fairly deep set of features, but most are optional so the value of the unit strongly depends upon what options are included with it. Foursite, Siemens’ 4D package is a particularly expensive option so remember this when considering pricing differences between used X300 premiums. The X300 premium offers good image quality and true shared service with many probe options. The GE Logiq P5 has less options but also is a true shared service machine with both a 4D option and a full cardiac package option. The Logiq P5 also has a large number of potential probes and is a bit smaller and lighter than the X300 premium. KPI considers both the Siemens X300 premium and the GE Logiq P5 premium as the top values in the “GOOD” entry level ultrasound machine segment.
For portable ultrasound machines even more than console units, reliability is essential when choosing a refurbished or used ultrasound machine. This is due to the added difficulty of finding hardware problems and fixing them within the smaller space of the portable unit. The availability of parts and probes are higher when the unit has been in production for a long time, or is still in production. This paired with a high power and features compared to the selling price of the unit make for a great value in a portable ultrasound. KPI considers both the GE Logiq-e and the Medison U6 as excellent values for these reasons. The GE Logiq-e has been in production for over a decade, is very reliable and is still in production with plentiful parts and probes. The Logiq-e offers excellent MSK imaging, good vascular and cardiac imaging and good abdominal and general imaging scanning. It also has a very wide array of probes that work with it even though it is an entry level unit. It’s only real weakness is a lack of 4D probes. The Samsung Medison U6 took the great value of the earlier U5 and vastly improved cardiac and vascular imaging as well as workflow. Unlike the Logiq-e it does offer a good 4D convex probe. It has good reliability. It is currently in production but is early in its product life so it’s harder to tell if it will be upgrade or replaced in the future.