Things to Know When Buying Ultrasound Probes
What type of Transducer to buy:
New Versus Refurbished:
As is nearly always the case, it is safer to purchase a product new and from the original distributor (, ). On the other hand, in the medical equipment industry, the difference between a new or used transducer is often at least 50% of the price (a new probe might cost $4000, whereas a perfectly functional used one can cost $2000).
Therefore, if you wish to be more economical, or if a new probe is outside of your budget, purchasing a used or refurbished transducer is your best bet. There are a few steps that you should take to ensure that you are protected and getting the best quality product possible:
1) Make sure to see an image of the probe lens: Ultrasound probes are extremely sensitive in nature and rely on minuscule crystals to provide imaging (see our blog How it Works: Ultrasound Probes and Transducers). Any dents or scrapes in the lens can cause the image to fade out or damage the image quality. Consequently, be sure to obtain a picture of the quality of the lens.
Damaged Probe Lens (notice the crack on the top)
Working Probe Lens (No cracks)
2) Check the color of the cable: Although this is not the most important aspect of purchasing a probe, and does not affect the quality of the image that is being projected, it is still something to be aware of. One of the signs of use and age is the discoloring of the cable. For aesthetic and professional purposes, it is preferred to have a pristine, white cable. If you are investing in used or refurbished equipment, take a moment to make sure that the transducer chord looks presentable and “like new”.
3) Obtain an snapshot of the ultrasound monitor: If you don’t know whether or not you can trust a distributor or salesperson in terms of lens or probe quality, there is one more step to take that can ensure a quality purchase. Requesting a picture of a snapshot of the ultrasound monitor with the probe projecting an image (either through a phantom or a person) can guarantee that the transducer that you are purchasing truly works as well as the day it was manufactured.
Not many physicians are aware of what model ultrasound machine they are. It is crucial to be cognizant of which ultrasound machine one has, and which probe is compatible with it. Not all GE probes are compatible with all GE ultrasound units for example, so be sure that while making inquiries you guarantee probe and ultrasound compatibility.
A.M.E. carries dozens of probes from all of the most popular brands including , , , and more! We prioritize customer satisfaction and experience over all else, and would be happy to offer advice regarding probes, provide images proving top image quality, and provide the most economical solution to your ultrasound demands.
At A.M.E. Ultrasounds, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality customer service. If there is a particular topic you would like to read about or be interested in learning more about, please feel free to contact us!
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