Look Inside This Body: The Greater Seattle Ultrasound Cluster

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Philips Sonicare (Snoqualmie, WA)
The Dutch electronics giant has another big local play in ultrasound, with the Sonicare toothbrush. It bought this operation from Snoqualmie-based Optiva in August 2000, a time when it Optiva had about 600 employees and an estimated $175 million in annual sales.

Physiosonics (Seattle, WA)
This company, founded in 2000, is developing UW ultrasound technologies for neurological monitoring. It received a $4 million venture investment in June, led by Johnson & Johnson Development.

Siemens Medical (Issaquah, WA)
Competes with Philips and its ultrasound machines for obstetrician/gynecology practices, cardiology, and radiology.

Sonosite (Bothell, WA)
This company spun off from ATL Ultrasound in 1998, and has been led by CEO Kevin Goodwin since the start. Sonosite (NASDAQ: SONO) has 600 employees worldwide who develop and sell lightweight, portable ultrasound machines. The technology has its origins in work for the U.S. military to get these tools on the battlefield, and the company still sells some to Uncle Sam, although it’s a small piece of its overall market.

Spencer Technologies (Seattle)
Founded to commercialize discoveries by radiologist Merrill Spencer, this company has created what it calls “transcranial” ultrasound for the brain. It’s designed to detect blood clots in the brain.

Therus (Seattle, WA)
This company was founded in 1998, and is developing ultrasound to cauterize punctures of the femoral artery, a common point of entry for doctors who do a lot of minimally-invasive cardiology procedures like angioplasty. It was founded (and is still led) by president David Perozek, a former president of ATL Ultrasound.

Ultreo (Redmond, WA)
This startup was formed in 2003 by UW neurosurgeon Pierre Mourad and Jack Gallagher, a founder and former president of Optiva, to develop a different kind of ultrasonic toothbrush.

UST (Everett, WA)
This is yet another UW spin-off, with roots in technology developed by Lawrence Crum of the Applied Physics laboratory. It is working on using ultrasound to stop bleeding.

Verasonics (Redmond, WA)
This ultrasound software maker was founded in 2002, and reorganized in 2005. It has a partnership with PhysioSonics

Verathon (Bothell, WA)
This company, which jazzed up its name a few years ago after originally going by Diagnostic Ultrasound, was founded in 1984 by electrical engineer Gerald McMorrow. It now has about 275 employees worldwide. It makes a product called BladderScan, a portable ultrasound scanner to measure bladder volume to diagnose a variety of ailments.

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2 responses to “Look Inside This Body: The Greater Seattle Ultrasound Cluster”

  1. Is this used with angioplasty?

  2. Add to the List:

    -Mirabilis Medica
    -Supersonic Imagine (French-based with office in Redmond)
    -Toshiba had been wanting to start an ultrasound research facility in Redmond – last I heard it was on hold