Handheld Ultrasound Machines Buyer’s Guide

Handheld text graphic

Many doctors, radiology technicians, and other medical professionals use portable or handheld ultrasound machines to diagnose patients at the point of care in ambulances, doctor’s offices, and hospitals. These devices prevent people from having to make separate appointments for ultrasounds and allows physicians to diagnose patients and start treatment as soon as possible.

Advances in technology make portable ultrasounds more versatile and compact than ever, and a range of models are available. Continue reading to learn about the features you can expect with a handheld ultrasound.

Ultrasound Machine:  Sonosite iVIZ Butterfly IQ GE Vscan with Dual Probe
Ranking Best tablet-style handheld ultrasound machine Best smartphone app Ultrasound system Best pocket-size point-of-care ultrasound machine
Price Range $18,000-$27,000 $2,000-$4,000 $5,500-$8,250
3D/4D Imaging 2D only 2D only 2D only
Monitor Size 7” Varies based on the smartphone or tablet you use 3.5” LCD
Image Quality 1920×1200 resolution Varies depending on smartphone or tablet used 1024×768 resolution
Controls Touchscreen Touchscreen Buttons
Battery Life 1 hour 1 hour 1 hour
Workflow Features: eFast, FATE, application-specific packages, lightweight, images easily uploaded to the cloud, intuitive multi-touch controls User-programmable controls, multi-touch gesture controls, intuitively designed mobile application 2-in- probe provides quick change between sector and linear transducer scans, presets for a wide variety of applications, voice annotations
Handheld Features: Built-in rugged handle for easy operation. Quick-swap battery. Can be used with any smartphone or tablet with the app. Images stored on cloud servers Small size (fits in a pocket), 2-in-1 probe with sector and linear functions, simple button interface
What sets it apart: Swappable probes and battery. Rugged design Intuitively designed mobile app, many applications supported Small size, 2-in-1 probe, fast scanning

Features To Anticipate With a Handheld Ultrasound

Small ultrasound machines often have many of the same features as larger models. They usually have streamlined, easy-to-use controls, and many can connect with a computer or smartphone for additional functionality.

Clinicians often use handheld ultrasounds for cardiac, vascular, OB/GYN, internal medicine, musculoskeletal, urology, veterinary, and other applications. They’re ideal for professionals who often travel to see patients and have little storage space. Many models come with color Doppler imaging to monitor blood flow, and automatic image optimization makes scanning easy and accurate. Needle visualization lets medical professionals use handheld ultrasounds to help administer local anesthesia and perform other procedures.

The GE Vscan With Dual Probe

GE vscan with probe display

The GE Vscan With Dual Probe is a simple handheld ultrasound with two transducers on one probe. You can use the linear transducer on one end to scan anatomy close to the surface of the body. The convex transducer on the other end allows cardiac and transcranial imaging. This is one of the best pocket-sized ultrasounds, and the compact controls look like those you’d find on a flip phone. The GE Vscan was one of the first handheld ultrasounds and typically costs between $5,500 and $8,250.

The linear scanner can work at up to 8 centimeters of scanning depth, and the convex scanner functions at up to 24 centimeters. It has a 75-degree field of view. Switching between transducers is easy, and you can boot up the GE Vscan With Dual Probe and start scanning in under 25 seconds.
Transferring your scans to a PC so you can view them on a larger screen is easy. The device has a one-hour battery life, and you can use its compact charging station to charge it to 90% capacity in about 75 minutes. Other standard features include:

  • A 3.5-inch LCD screen with 1024 x 768 resolution
  • A sleep mode to save power
  • A soft case
  • Easy presets for many applications
  • A 4-gigabyte microSD card
  • Voice annotations
  • ColorFlow directional imaging
  • A thumb-controllable navigation wheel
  • Well-placed buttons
  • AutoCycle to detect full heart cycles
  • AutoOptimize automatic gain adjustment
  • Power angio or color power angiography to detect blood flow in small blood vessels and capillaries
  • Pulsed wave Doppler to measure the velocity of blood flow

The Butterfly IQ

Butterfly iQ ultrasound image

The Butterfly IQ is the best ultrasound system you can use with a smartphone app, and it usually costs $1,500 to $2,200. You can connect it to any smartphone or tablet for the monitor size and resolution you need. Controlling this handheld ultrasound with the touch screen on your phone or tablet is easy with the intuitive app. With biplane imaging, you can see the same area along the longitudinal and transverse axes on a split screen simultaneously.

The Butterfly IQ also comes with:

  • A one-hour battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Programmable, multitouch gesture controls
  • Easy storage of scans on cloud servers
  • 18 clinical presets for easy scanning
  • Scanning depth from 1 to 30 centimeters
  • Needle visualization
  • OB calculations to help you determine gestational age and amniotic fluid index
  • M-mode to help you detect and evaluate tissue motion
  • Color Doppler
  • Power Doppler
  • Pulsed wave Doppler

The Fujifilm Sonosite iViz

sonosite iviz ultrasound machine image

The Sonosite iViz is the best tablet-style handheld ultrasound machine. It usually costs between $18,000 and $27,000, and its 7.1-inch LCD touch screen comes with intuitive, multitouch controls.
This device has a lightweight, rugged, compact design with a convenient carrying handle. You can submerge it in liquid for easy cleaning, and you can use the tablet with one hand while you operate the transducer with the other. Extended focused assessment with sonography in trauma or eFast programming helps doctors examine trauma patients and detect issues quickly. You can also use tissue harmonic imaging with or without a contrast agent for better differentiation between tissue types.

Many software packages are available for different applications, including automatic measurements for cardiac and OB/GYN exams. You can choose from several compatible probes for a variety of scans. With this portable ultrasound, you’ll get:

  • A one-hour battery life
  • 1920 x 1200 resolution
  • DirectClear technology for better scan penetration and detail
  • The ability to share images wirelessly
  • An HDMI port
  • Focus-assessed transthoracic echocardiography
  • SonoADAPT Tissue Optimization
  • 4x zoom capability
  • M-mode to detect motion
  • Color power Doppler to show the speed and direction of blood flow

More Ultrasound Options From Strata Imaging

To learn more about handheld ultrasound machines and the advanced features available, contact us at Strata Imaging. We can help you choose a new or refurbished device that’s affordable and ideal for your needs.

Additional Options From Strata Imaging

At Strata Imaging, we offer an extensive inventory of these musculoskeletal ultrasound machines and more. You can get a refurbished device or a brand-new model you can use to diagnose and treat patients. Contact us to learn more about the MSK ultrasound machines we have available.

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