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Viasys/Nicolet/Imex
Elite 200 Digital

Suggested Retail Price $650

The Elite 200 Digital fetal doppler monitor is made in the US by Viasys/Nicolet Healthcare who bought out Imex, a Colorado based company and original designer and manufacturer of the whole line of Viasys obstetrical fetal doppler monitors. The Elite 200 Digital fetal doppler monitor is the top of the line model for Nicolet.

The Elite 200 digital fetal doppler monitor, unlike the Caredop, is much more compact and has only one speaker. What makes it Elite? The Elite 200 fetal doppler monitor is Nicolet's top of the line doppler offering a very dependable and easy to read digital display as well as clean audio of the fetal heart. The Elite 200 digital fetal doppler monitor is considerably smaller than the Caredop but still not as compact as Huntleighs line of fetal doppler monitors. However, its size still lends to its easy handling and compact styling. Again, as with the Caredop and the remaining line of Nicolet obstetrical fetal doppler monitors the probe is attached with what resembles a phone cord. The cord easily attaches/detaches from the probe and main unit making both easy to clean and maintain, a definite bonus. When not in use the probe attaches easily at the top of the unit. This, though convenient and secure, keeps the sensitive transducer face exposed where it could be easily damaged; unlike the Caredop where the transducer is protected when not in use. On the bright side, it seems that by using a different material (softer plastic) for the probe holder Nicolet has solved one of our main issues with the Caredop.

All Nicolet obstetrical fetal doppler monitors have interchangeable probes which isn't really necessary for an obstetrical doppler unit but does enable Nicolet to offer a choice between a 2 or 3 mghz probe. Nicolet also offers a 2 mghz waterproof probe, plan on paying an additional $250-$300 for another probe.

We found Nicolet's marketing material on their fetal doppler monitors very interesting. They claim that with their pre-positioned crystals and unique probe finding a signal is easier than ever. Once again we believe the most important factor in finding the fetal heartbeat with ease is experience. Aside from this, earlier in pregnancy we like the 2mghz probe as it penetrates deeper with its narrow signal giving the examiner more of a chance to find the fetal heartbeat earlier in pregnancy. With a wider beam, yes, it may be hypothetically easier to find a signal but by 12 weeks the heartbeat, though still very small, can be picked up fairly easily with either a 2 or 3 mghz transducer. The fact is that a 3 mghz probe doesn't penetrate deep enough to find the fetal heart rate as early as 8 weeks. The 3mghz probe is standard on this unit.

Pre-positioned crystals are an interesting but confusing concept to us. The marketing literature instructs the user to keep probe flat during exam and that angling the probe isn't necessary. Our studies showed this worked only about half the time and often angling the probe helped considerable. We have found in all our studies and review that the best way to find a fetal heartbeat with any probe, pre-angled crystals or not, is to pick up and place the probe, trying many different angles until you find the best reception. Sliding the fetal doppler monitors probe around is a great way to produce lots of static and the Elite 200 digital is no exception.

As with each of our test fetal doppler monitors we used the Elite 200 digital once a week every week beginning at 8 weeks. The earliest we were able to pick up the fetal heartbeat with any of our expecting mothers was 9.5 weeks. By 12 weeks all of our patients were able to hear the heartbeat. Overall we liked the Elite 200 fetal doppler monitor and found it very user friendly. We give the Elite 200 digital an overall 8 out of a possible 10. Other than the probe holder at the top of the unit and the high costs for replacement parts, the Elite 200 digital is a great doppler and with a 10 year warranty against manufacturer's defects you could be set for many years to come.

Durability

We found very few problems with the durability and design of the Elite 200 fetal doppler monitor. However, the one design element that we didn't like we feel could lead to bigger issues. The lack of protection for the transducers face when not in use could lend to the probe not lasting as long as it could. A few good bumps to the sensitive transducer could cause problems. Other than that, we enjoyed this unit but would opt for a 2mghz transducer if purchasing.

Features
Warranty

Ten year warranty on fetal doppler monitors parts and labor

Specifications
Dimensions: 6.8" x 2.9" x1.0" (17cm x 7.5cm x 2.5cm)
Weight: 0.60 lb. (0.25kg)
Power source: 110V recharger (220 V optional): Models Elite 100R, Elite 200R; Battery powered: Models Elite 100, Elite 200
Battery type: 8.4 Volt NiCad user replaceable: Models Elite 100R, Elite 200R;
9V alkaline: Models Elite 100, Elite 200
Battery recharge time: 10 hours (3.5 hours to restore 50% of capacity): Models Elite 100R, Elite 200R
Display range: 60-199 +/- 2: Models Elite 200, Elite 200R
Display Resolution: 1 beat per minute: Models Elite 200, Elite 200R
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