News | May 06, 2011

Functionality Primary Driver of Provider Satisfaction in Echo Ultrasound

May 6, 2011 – Functionality in the echo ultrasound market drives satisfaction as providers push the bounds of what the technology can do to treat an increasing number of patients at risk for cardiovascular disease. Vendors have responded to these demands with new systems and new technology over the last couple of years.

KLAS' new echo ultrasound report, "Echo 2011: A Tight Race at the Top," shares the experiences of more than 140 providers regarding the strengths and weaknesses of vendors, the available solutions, and developing trends in this space. Unlike other markets where the vendor relationships often take precedence, state-of-the-art technology is top of mind for providers in cardiology – as illustrated by the KLAS performance scores for both GE and Philips.

Providers are excited about new technology such as image fusion, offered by GE, where one can overlay an ultrasound scan on an MRI or CT scan for more accurate anatomical detail and better abnormality location. Philips xMatrix has also created a lot of buzz with the ability to do both 2-D and 3-D imaging with one probe. Though technology is what most providers are talking about, relationship and product reliability continue to demand attention.

"The relationship with a vendor still impacts providers in this space. For example, Toshiba's Aplio CV performs at the top of the market along with tech leaders, GE and Philips. Toshiba is able to build on strong relationships to keep providers satisfied with a reliable, although not bleeding-edge, ultrasound technology," said Emily Crane, KLAS research director and author of the report. "Siemens offers good technology. However, some Siemens SC2000 customers have experienced reliability issues and some customer relationships have suffered as Siemens has struggled to make changes. Siemens performance scores reflect these issues."

Cost is a driving factor of provider expectations, and some vendors benefitted from this trend. While Biosound is not the most cutting edge system, most users said it was a great value and got the job done. Providers said that Toshiba exceeded reliability expectations and offered a lower cost than GE and Philips. Though Philips was reported to be a pricier unit, their newest customers are among the most satisfied in the report. Newer GE customers are also quite happy.

To find out more about the echo ultrasound market, or to purchase the report, "Echo 2011: A Tight Race at the Top," visit www.KLASresearch.com/reports. The report is available to healthcare providers for a significant discount off the standard retail price.

For more information: www.KLASresearch.com

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