Konica Minolta expands Americas ultrasound division

Sonimage HS1--Courtesy of Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta kicked off plans to grow its ultrasound business in the Americas with the appointment of Brian Noyes as senior vice president and general manager of its Ultrasound division.

"Konica Minolta welcomes Brian as we solidify our commitment to being a market leader in point of care ultrasound and specifically the market leader in musculoskeletal (MSK) scanning," said David Widmann, CEO of Konica Minolta Medical Imaging USA, in a statement.

Klein Biomedical Consultants estimates the U.S. musculoskeletal ultrasound market to be worth $62 million, and Konica Minolta is angling to grab a bigger piece of the pie. The company’s product development teams will focus on “ensuring the company’s superior imaging technology delivers MSK clinicians the confidence to make critical patient care decisions,” according to the statement. The first step is to increase physician access to the right tools for the right examinations, the company said.

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The Japanese company’s point-of-care ultrasound tech, Sonimage HS1, is a compact, hand-carried machine. Konica Minolta hopes that the device’s intuitive controls, such as a touchscreen, gesture controls and focused exam presets, will appeal to clinicians and enable them to conduct rapid bedside ultrasound evaluation. The system has applications in podiatry, orthopedics, rheumatology, physical medicine, rehabilitation and sports medicine.

The Sonimage HS1 overcomes trade-offs between resolution and penetration that often affect other machines by using a 5-level wave-control algorithm, which generates separate harmonic signals that cover the receive spectrum of the system. The system’s high sensitivity enables clinicians to see structures as small as several hundred microns, making it suitable for detailed tissue visualization. The Sonimage also uses a broad-frequency linear probe, which allows for the visualization of deep and superficial joint structures.

Last November, Philips debuted a portable, hand-held ultrasound device in the U.S. The device plugs into a smartphone and uses an app for image management. Other players, including KKR-backed Signostics, are also working on their own portable ultrasound offerings.

- here's the statement

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