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Axess Ultrasound buys Specialized Technologies

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | October 03, 2011
Ultrasound service company Axess Ultrasound said Monday it bought Specialized Technologies, a 10-year-old business which focuses on repairing transesophageal probes. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Indianapolis, Ind.-based Axess said the relationship between the two companies began about 18 months ago, after they started hearing about the Tulsa, Okla.-based company from customers.

"We just kept hearing about this company called Specialized," William Gulley, executive director of Axess Ulstraound, told DOTmed News. "We decided to give them a try."

Gulley said they sent them probes for test repairs, and that the company's quality and customer service were impeccable. He said the two privately owned firms also share core values and a focus on improving the customer's experience.

"We knew, at Axess, that we were going to be expanding into that marketplace," Gulley said. "We thought it just fit really well and it sort of developed from there."

Specialized, founded in 2001, concentrates on repairing TEE probes. These probes are used for procedures where an ultrasound transducer is snaked through a patient's esophagus, usually so it can take images of the heart unobstructed by the ribs or lungs.

But TEE probes are tricky from a repair standpoint, as they're articulated, and enter the human body, Gulley said.

"You need very high standards of quality to be able to repair these in a way to give patients the diagnostic outcome they deserve," Gulley said.

The two companies have about 900 customers in 40 states and 11 countries, Axess said.

Axess, a subsidiary of A.H. Holdings L.L.C., provides ultrasound repairs, service, parts, equipment and even training through its "Axess University" online courses.

A.H. Holdings, owned by Ascension Health, the country's biggest Catholic non-profit health system, also includes TriMedx, eProtex, and the TriMedx Foundation.

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