Choosing an ultrasound machine can be overwhelming. Assuming you’ve already made the decision to buy from a reputable ultrasound company (like us!) because of the quality guarantee and lifelong support you will receive, there are three important questions you must ask yourself when choosing which machine to buy.
3 questions to ask yourself when buying an ultrasound machine
1. Will you be scanning as a business? If so, you need to be investing in an Elite 5600 at the very least. If you try to start up a scanning business without the right equipment or training, you will fail within a few weeks. Check out this WhatsApp message I received from a client recently:
This lady had originally called looking to purchase the MSU3. While this is a great scanner for simple yes/no pregnancy detection in animals like pigs or sheep, the quality the market expects for canine pregnancy scanning now means that this machine would not be a suitable choice for running a business. Nevertheless, this customer insisted on purchasing it.
Within 24 hours, she’d changed her mind and was asking to upgrade to the PulseEcho wireless scanner. Again, she was advised that this would be suitable for home use only, but again she was adamant, so I arranged the swap for her.
One week later, I received that WhatsApp message. It’s clear that this lady fully expected to be able to run a successful canine pregnancy scanning business – within a week! – on a budget, without the right equipment, and with no training.
The one thing this lady did get right was that there are too many people doing it. But there are not too many people doing it well. Well trained, properly equipped, experienced scanners are still like gold dust, and they are in high demand as a result.
2. What is your market like? As the lady above found out, if there is a lot of competition already in your local area, you need to stand out. Doing the same thing as everyone else will not bring favourable results. Postponing your purchasing decision until you can afford a higher end system (like a ScanX or Apogee 1000 Lite) and the best training possible could be the best decision for the longevity of your business, and your enjoyment of scanning.
You can check how many AUA-accredited scanners are in your local area on the Animal Ultrasound Association directory here. Note that this will only tell you who the top scanners are in your area. It will not tell you about people who are currently working towards their accreditation, or people who are untrained/not trained by a professional and therefore ineligible for membership.
3. Will species and breeds will you be scanning? Will you be scanning purely giant breed dogs, sheep and goats? If you’re only scanning your own animals, this may be the case, and if so, your choice of equipment will be different to somebody scanning a variety of canine breeds and cats. For most people, though, a microconvex probe will be the best option, and the microconvex probes on particularly high-resolution scanners like the ScanX or Apogee 1000 Lite will be able to cope with all breeds of dog, and even smaller goats and sheep.