Premium Performance. The premium market segment, comprising about 20% of the world market for ultrasound products, is characterized by ultrasound systems that typically sell for over US$160,000 per unit (as at the late 1990s). These systems provide the physician with superior definition of subtle tissue characteristics and incorporate high resolution gray scale imaging, tissue harmonic imaging, advanced color velocity, power, and spectral Doppler capability, image acquisition storage, display and review capability, advanced automation capabilities, and other features providing additional clinical utility. Typically, systems sold in the premium market are equipped with a wide variety of specialty scanheads.
High Performance. The high performance market, comprising about 40% of the world ultrasound market, is characterized by systems with high resolution gray scale imaging and advanced color velocity, power and spectral Doppler capabilities. Systems in this market segment sell between $100,000 and $160,000 per unit and generally include advanced measurement and analysis software, image review capabilities, and a variety of scanhead offerings.
Mid-Range. The mid-range market segment, comprising about 20% of the world ultrasound market, is characterized by ultrasound systems that sell between $50,000 and $100,000 per unit. These units are basic gray scale imaging, color and spectral Doppler systems used for routine examinations and reporting and utilize a minimum number of scanheads. Many of these systems are sold to small hospitals and clinics and are used in radiology, cardiology and OB/GYN applications. Refurbished premium and high performance systems with fewer purchased optional features are also sold in this price range.
Low-End. The low-end market segment makes up the remaining 20% of the market and is characterized by basic black and white imaging systems that sell below $50,000 per unit. These systems provide limited diagnostic information and are used primarily for monitoring fetal development and in other basic OB/GYN applications. Most of these systems are sold to private office practitioners and small hospitals. They are often equipped with the transvaginal probe.