This year saw the launch of the new ScanPad+ ultrasound machine – to the delight of some, and the dismay of others. It followed months of Coronavirus-induced supply issues, as parts suppliers of the original machine fell by the wayside or suffered unprecedented delays. This was by no means exceptional during this time, and was a phenomenon that affected supply chains all around the world. This was compounded by a surge in demand from online companies, overloading shipping and delivery companies, which only added to delays.
The only way to continue to produce the ScanPad was to raise prices significantly, and so VIS (the creators of this machine) decided that the only viable option was to introduce the ScanPad+. This machine saw the introduction of a number of improvements that North American clients, in particular, had been asking for.
Key differences between the ScanPad+ and ScanPad
The main goal behind the creation of the ScanPad+ was to change as little as possible. The ScanPad is arguably the best selling ultrasound machine for small animal pregnancy scanning worldwide, and the number of imitation products both at home and abroad is a testament to its success. For that reason, the software, main board and transducers remain completely unchanged in the new unit. The main differences are:
- Much sturdier case: This is something that people who tend to scan outdoors had been asking for for years, particularly goat breeders in the USA and dog breeders in Canada.
- Custom-made carry case: Finding an appropriate carry case for the ScanPad was always problematic, so the ScanPad+ can be ordered with a case designed especially for this machine.
Above: Original ScanPad (left), and the new ScanPad+ (right), launched 2020.
What about the ScanX?
The ScanX ultrasound machine is a new product that will officially launch in January 2021, although a few people have taken advantage of currently discounted pricing to buy theirs now (current lead time of one week). The aim of the ScanX is to improve upon two main weaknesses of the ScanPad or ScanPad+:
Portability: Some people argue that the increased robustness of the ScanPad+ comes at a price: it’s a bulkier, heavier machine than before (4.8kg / 10.5lbs). In addition, the battery life of the ScanPad series has never been impressive, nor is it meant to be. The battery is there as an emergency backup for a machine that’s designed to be run from the mains. The ScanX, in comparison, is super lightweight (well under 1kg / 2.2lbs), with a battery that will keep you scanning for at least five hours.
Service and repair: The collapse of global supply chains during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic was a huge wake-up call. In countries like the UK, USA and Canada, we rely heavily upon trade with other nations, and when component suppliers cease trading, increase prices or shipping gets delayed, it causes major problems. While the interconnectedness of our world means we can never eliminate this completely (nor would we want to), there are steps we can take to improve things:
1) On the computing side, the ScanX is powered by systems designed and supported by big companies with a strong presence in the United Kingdom and North America (e.g. Microsoft).
2) The ScanX software is coded and supported from right here in London.
3) Training and technical support can be delivered remotely, from London and from our amazing Clayton in Brazil who is on the same time zone as most of our American clients.
4) Our high resolution transducers are assembled and printed in Surrey, England.
This reduction in the number of external components also means that there is less to ‘go wrong.’ No more waiting on spare parts – both the tablet and transducer are individually warrantied and, in the event of a malfunction under warranty, you would simply receive a replacement. If your tablet device were ever to fail outside of warranty, the fantastic thing about the ScanX is that the software can be installed on any Windows or Android device, enabling you to carry on scanning.
Of course, the ScanX won’t suit everyone. One of the most popular features of the ScanPad range is the huge 15″ screen – something that is inevitably lost on a more portable unit (the ScanX screen is 10.5″). You can learn more about the ScanX Ultrasound Machine here.