A medical ultrasound device, also known as a sonography machine, is much more than a portable sound machine. Although it produces sound waves of a frequency higher than humans can hear, it also receives the echo, converts the signal, and displays the information.
Ultrasound machine costs vary over a wide range depending on the features available and the quality of the technology. On average, you can buy a typical ultrasound machine for between $4,500 and $15,000. However, a high–end device producing color images and with many other features can set you back $150,000. But, if your organization needs to save money for whatever reason, you can always buy a reconditioned model or take out a hire or lease contract.
You must also buy ultrasound transducer probes, ranging from $500 to $5,000 each, and a printer from $1,000 to $3,000. Furthermore, don’t forget maintenance costs, of up to 15% of the purchase price and transportation costs, reaching $300 to $500.
If these amounts seem high, remember that an ultrasound scanner’s main benefit is that a physician can identify and examine a patient’s internal organs without operating. Therefore, the procedure can safely occur in an outpatients’ clinic or a doctor’s office, or even in the patient’s home if necessary.
Ultrasound Machine Prices Comparison*
The table below gives quick price comparison of the top US providers for ultrasound machines by model. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order.
|Biosound Caris||$3,000 – $4,500|
|Chison Ebit 60||$8,000 – $16,900|
|GE Logiq BT12||$12,500 – $34,900|
|GE Voluson E10||$45,000 – $97,000|
|Hitachi ProSound F37||$17,000|
|Philips CX50||$20,000 – $30,000|
|Siemens Acuson P500||$23,900 – $25,600|
|SonoSite M-Turbo||$4,700 – $14,000|
|Toshiba Nemio 30||$8,500 – $12,750|
* The facts and figures listed in this article and the included tables came from different websites and were accurate at the time of writing (March 2021). They may, however, have since changed. Also, please keep in mind these may not be like-for-like comparisons as each provider offers different solutions. The figures also include refurbished prices offered by reputable medical equipment sales companies alongside new models. This guide should only be used as a starting point for your research to improve the collected information.
This ultrasound scanner has a deep abdominal transducer, able to penetrate up to 40cm. Its design enables operators to obtain readings mainly from obese patients, but you can use it on any sized patient.
This machine has a 15.6” touch screen display. It is the perfect choice for transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), cardiac, vascular, obstetrics, gynecology, and general radiological uses.
This is one of the most affordable portable ultrasound machines. The machine offers various imaging options, has an LCD screen but allows you to connect to an external monitor. It’s small and easy to carry yet can do the work of much larger permanent ultrasound machines.
Chison Ebit 60
This machine is one of the best portable ultrasound machines available for a very affordable price. And if you don’t want a brand new one, there are plenty of reconditioned units available at the low end of the price range.
Some of the features include it being very light to carry. And, for its size offers the very latest in image optimization giving clear 3D imaging.
It is designed for use on all the common applications and is compatible with a vast array of transducers.
Finally, it has an independent 15” LED display monitor and has 120 minutes battery life. It also has 4 USB sockets and an ethernet port.
What more could you ask for?
GE Logiq BT12
This device is one of the most sought–after portable ultrasound machines available. It’s suitable for a wide range of applications, including abdominal, vascular, urology, nerve block, and cardiac. The device has a choice of two probes, and each new unit comes with a full 5–year warranty for parts and labor.
GE Voluson E10
The GE Voluson E10 is a console machine but weighs only 10lbs and is easily portable if necessary.
It uses 3D/4D imaging technology but also gives great 2D images as well. The device’s design is specifically for women’s health and provides data on fetal and gynecological scans. You might pick up models at less than the recommended price, especially if it’s a reconditioned one. If not, then they are available as rental and lease options.
Hitachi ProSound F37
This machine is a stationary console ultrasound device ideal for a clinic setting. It’s just as good dealing with women’s health as it is with general radiology. The controls are easy to use, too, with all of them intuitively laid out on the attached keyboard.
This device is high–quality ultrasound equipment set into a compact and attractive housing. It’s portable and gives very clear hi-res images, so it’s easy to see what’s happening inside your patient.
This is one of the best ultrasound machines, and even though it might be somewhat expensive for its size, you can find suppliers willing to sell it at a much lower price. Two of this ultrasound device’s good features are that it’s compatible with xMatrix and PureWave single crystal transducers. And it can use up to 3 transducers at the same time.
All in all, this is a useful piece of equipment, very versatile, and able to handle various types of medical exams.
Siemens Acuson P500
This device is a middle-of-the-range portable ultrasound machine suitable for emergency use and adaptable for many different scenarios. It looks like a laptop and has a built-in handle, so it’s very easy to carry around and store when not needed. One of the best features is the Siemens’ eSieScan Protocol which makes routine tasks automated. This feature cuts down on training time and operators’ errors. Other useful features include a catheter connector and a barcode reader. Of course, the machine can perform all the usual applications you’d expect from a good general-purpose ultrasound device.
This machine is a versatile and portable general-purpose ultrasound scanner. It’s robust and can withstand accidental drops from a height of up to 3 feet. The user interface is splash resistant, and it is high tech enough to produce great high–resolution images.
As well as using this machine for routine ultrasound scans, you can use it for more advanced applications such as pelvic, vascular, nerve, and venous access.
Probably, one of the most useful features is its wireless capability allowing you to use it at various points of care. It also has two hi–speed USB connections and can be used with a PC or Mac. Reconditioned models start at the lower end of the price range, and there are also rental and lease options available.
Toshiba Nemio 30
This is a top-of-the-range quality device without the high portable ultrasound machine price. It has various advanced tech features, including iTouch control console, digital beamformer, and 16-programmable options. This machine is, without doubt, one of the best ultrasound machines available for use with a wide range of scanning applications.
How Does an Ultrasound Machine Work?
You’ve probably already heard of sonar imaging similar to that used by fishing boats, bats, and dolphins. Medical ultrasound imaging is something very similar.
Firstly, the generated sound waves have a frequency far higher than those humans or animals can hear. The ultrasound emitted from the transducer enters the tissue and bounces back from different density surfaces when it comes into contact with them. The transducer then receives the reflected sound, and a computer translates the small signal changes into images on a screen. The operator can also focus the sound so that the tissue surfaces of interest show up better on the screen than those of lesser interest.
The resulting images of surfaces buried deep within the body show a trained operator the condition of organs, tumors, infections, and internal organs filled with liquid. And give the ability to examine a fetus during pregnancy.
Probably, ultrasound’s best feature is that it has no known side effect during use, unlike ionizing radiation, widely used in other scanning techniques.
When the technology was in its infancy, ultrasound images were simple, flat, monochrome, and low-resolution pictures. Nowadays, the scans can produce beautiful full–color 3D stationary and moving images. They can then be printed onto paper or stored digitally for playback later on.
Ultrasound Machine Features
A medical ultrasound machine has many features that a manufacturer can incorporate into its design. The addition or removal of these features, to a large extent, governs the final cost of the device. Remember that there are economy, medium–range, and premium machines. Therefore, you should buy the model that gives your practice good value for money. Before you purchase, you should already have an idea of what features you want to include.
Let’s look at a few of the features.
Portable vs. permanent machine
Whether to choose a portable or stationary machine is probably the most basic decision you can make. The choice is whether you want a portable device or one that is stationary and permanently in one place. Obviously, a stationary machine can be larger and include more features than a portable one. But, it’s easy to carry a portable device to wherever the operator needs to use it, ranging from clinical, outpatients, or emergency scenarios.
A big disadvantage with portable machines is the short battery life. You must make sure that your choice has a long battery life or you have a place to recharge.
You’ll find that most stationary machines offer DVD burners and printers incorporated into the device. In contrast, portable ones need these extras as peripherals.
Stationary machines won’t be moved around as much, so they are less like to go wrong, and when they do, they’re easier to repair.
Choose a machine with USB ports, ethernet, and WiFi if you want to link your ultrasound machine with the rest of your practice’s network. Another useful extra is a video port to connect to external monitors if required.
Most ultrasound machines can handle the majority of medical applications quite adequately. However, many devices have specific specialist features designed to meet a particular medical need. Very often, the type of applications you need it for automatically produces a shortlist of possible alternatives. Similarly, certain applications determine if you need a portable or stationary machine. For example, a veterinary or emergency medicine scenario will probably need lightweight, portable models, as will the need to scan a patient at their bedside.
Some ultrasound machines have all the ‘bells-and-whistles’ you can think of, while others are a ‘bare-bones’ version, and you buy extra peripherals as and when you need them. If you choose a ‘bare-bones,’ calculate how much it’ll cost to add all the other bits and pieces such as a printer, DVD burner, external monitors, and so on. Although having separate peripherals suggests that different ultrasound machines could share, check compatibility, and check that the total cost compares favorably with the ‘bells-and-whistles’ version.
Whichever ultrasound scanner you buy, it costs a lot of money. And, you should aim for the best value you can get. Always make sure you read the warranty carefully and be certain that it covers your needs. Understand what faults the warranty covers and how long the coverage lasts. Also, give thought to what happens after the warranty expires. You need to know how easy it is to repair the machine, where you can buy spare parts, and how much they cost.
Hopefully, you now have a fairly good idea of what type of ultrasound device you want to buy. Now comes the hard part, choosing one. It’s best to find a specialist company to give you a quotation offering the best ultrasound machine costs based on your requirements.
That’s where we step in.
If you complete the form on this page, you can get 2 or 3 quotes from reputable medical-grade ultrasound equipment suppliers. Then when you’ve chosen your preferred option, you can go ahead with the purchase.
Jason is a B2B sales veteran spanning 3 decades and Founder of ApprovedCosts. Jason has scaled sales and marketing teams at a variety of enterprises and is a recognized expert in the field. Jason holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.