The technological advancements made in the ultrasound industry have enabled physicians and other care providers to have the power of ultrasound in the palm of their hands. For physicians, this means portable just got a lot more affordable. The arrival of “system-less” or app-based ultrasound (referred to as teleultrasound or handheld ultrasound) is the latest and greatest innovation in portable ultrasound technology. There are various brands that have handheld ultrasound products, but the two that are always top-of-mind are GE’s VScan Extend with the Dual Probe and the Philips Lumify handheld ultrasound solution. However, which of these teleultrasound systems is the best option for your practice? See below to find out!
See our full review of the GE VScan Extend w/ Dual-Probe and our full review of the Philips Lumify Handheld Ultrasound Solution.
The biggest difference you’ll notice between the VScan Extend and the Lumify is the way the two handheld solutions operate. While the GE VScan Extend has a dedicated Android-based system that looks like an iPhone attached to the dual-head probe, the Philips Lumify probes require an additional Android-based phone or tablet with the Lumify App downloaded in order to utilize the Lumify probes.Used Philips Lumify C5-2 for Sale with connector
You’ll also notice that the VScan Extend Dual-Probe version has a cardiac and vascular probe attached that you can switch back and forth from seamlessly. The Philips Lumify does support a linear, cardiac, and abdominal probe. However, the Lumify can only use one probe at a time, so you’d have to purchase individual probes and switch them out manually. While the Lumify does have the capability for a convex abdominal probe, which the VScan does not have, we believe that the VScan Extend’s usability and portability are superior in design to the Philips Lumify and the ability to switch back and forth between the linear and sector probe heads is imperative when providing ultrasound in emergency environments.
We know what really matters to physicians and all users of ultrasound systems is how well the ultrasound systems image. As mentioned earlier, the Philips Lumify requires a compatible android-enabled ultrasound system to use the probes. This means that your image will differ depending on which device you choose to use. For our tests, we used a newer Samsung Galaxy smartphone with an OLED display that was simply stunning, although the screen size was rather small. For the VScan Extend, you’ll notice it has a long HD touchscreen display that delivers a beautiful image, although not as crisp as the OLED display offered by the Samsung device we used. For us, if you’re using a newer Samsung Galaxy tablet with an OLED display, the Philips Lumify definitely delivers a superior image. However, if you’re using any other Android phone or tablet that doesn’t feature such a high definition display, the GE VScan Extend will surely deliver a superior image.
PRESETS AND CUSTOMIZATIONGE
While both systems come with a variety of presets, only the GE VScan Extend has with a dedicated app store run by GE Healthcare in collaboration with third-party developers to ensure that your VScan is as customizable as you need to fit your needs. The GE App Store contains a variety of presets, applications, and other programs–it can even double as a bladder scanner, which is unheard of for an ultrasound system of this unique design! Certain physicians can even take advantage of Tricefy Inside, a cloud-based data sharing platform provided to GE by Trice Imaging. While the presets of the Philips Lumify are useful, they pale in comparison to the vast number of presets and custom applications available on the GE VScan Extend. So, if you’re looking for versatility in addition to portability, the VScan Extend is definitely the way to go.
While the Philips Lumfiy comes with a dedicated support team from Philips (As long as you have the most up-to-date version of the app and mobile device), we cannot offer support on the Philips Lumify probes as they are very tricky to repair given their unique cable technology. However, with the GE VScan Extend, we can offer full support and even include a one-hour session with a trained GE sonographer!
So, how much do each of these handheld ultrasound solutions cost? From a price standpoint, the GE VScan Extend and the Philips Lumify probes are comparable, give or take the additional cost of adding a supported Android device. Although, that is only taking into account one Philips Lumify probe. If you want all three probes, you’re looking at close to 3x the cost of the GE VScan Extend with the Dual probe.
NEED PORTABILITY, BUT MORE IMAGING POWER THAN THE VSCAN/LUMIFY CAN PROVIDE?
While the GE Vscan Extend and Philips Lumify are excellent ultrasound solutions for primary care physicians, ambulatory services, mission trips, and more, sometimes you need high-quality imaging capabilities without sacrificing portability. For customers who want a great portable ultrasound system, we highly recommend the following refurbished offerings from GE and Philips:
- GE Logiq E Portable Ultrasound System
- Philips CX50 (Compact Xtreme) Portable Ultrasound System for Cardio Vascular Imaging
- GE Vivid iq Premium Ultrasound System for Cardio Vascular Imaging