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Acuson Corporation was a sonography equipment company specializing in high-quality medical ultrasound equipment. Founded in 1979 by Sam Maslak, Rob Younge and Amin Hanafy with the first product (The Acuson 128) shipped in 1983, Acuson pioneered many aspects related to medical ultrasound, most significantly the first fully computerized ultrasound system. In 1996 Acuson introduced the Sequoia 512 and Sequoia C256 systems (the latter for cardiac imaging). The principal architect of the Sequoia was Nelson Wright, who was Acuson's Vice President of Advanced Development. Wright also led the engineering team that developed the Sequoia. The Sequoia quickly became the biggest selling ultrasound system (by dollar volume) and it was manufactured in various versions until December 2008.
In 2000, Acuson was acquired by Siemens Medical Engineering group for approximately $700 million after which Acuson Corporation no longer existed, however, Siemens continues to use the Acuson brand name. Siemens' ultrasound division headquarters was located at the original Acuson facility in Mountain View California until moving to a new facility also in Mountain View in April 2012.
Acuson was important enough in evolution of the obstetric ultrasound that the National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian Institution, took time in 1997 to document the history, development, commercialization and applications of the diagnostic ultrasound. An Acuson 128 and an Acuson Sequoia system are part of the Smithsonian's permanent collection.
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