History

Tours: The French Cradle of Medical Ultrasound

Tours, has become the cradle of medical ultrasounds thanks to the remarkable work of Léandre Pourcelot and Thérèse Plagnol starting in the late 1960s. Léandre Pourcelot, after developing Europe’s first Doppler ultrasonic device for studying blood circulation, joined the Medical Biophysics Laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine in Tours.

There, along side Thérèse Planiol, they implemented revolutionary non-invasive technologies for medical diagnostics, particularly the transcutaneous use of ultrasound. The establishment of the French Society for the Application of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology in 1972, and the organization of the first congress on medical ultrasound in Tours, cemented the city’s pioneering role in this field.

Bretonneau Regional Hospital Center, Tours.
Bretonneau Regional Hospital Center, Tours.
The genesis of Vermon SA

The genesis of Vermon SA

Established in 1984 within the confines of the Tours Faculty of Medicine, Vermon SA represents the progression from dedicated research on ultrasound transducers to technological achievement.

This development began with the concerted efforts of Léandre Pourcelot and his team at the Medical Biophysics Laboratory. The laboratory’s expertise and significant findings prompted the move towards commercialization and led to the creation of Vermon to fullfill the needs of the industry that was looking for industrial suppliers for transducers. It was a promising company with 8 shareholders, including Aimé Flesh.

The French Legacy of Space Ultrasounds

The French Legacy of Space Ultrasounds

Between 1979 and 1982, Léandre Pourcelot and his team, in collaboration with the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES) and Matra-Interelec, developed the first Doppler echograph for assessing astronauts’ cardiovascular systems.

This ground breaking device was first utilized by French cosmonaut Jean-Loup Chrétien aboard the Soviet orbital station Salyout 7 in 1982. Following this success, the echograph equipped with Vermon probes sawfurther service in 1985 aboard the American spaces huttle Discovery during Patrick Baudry’s mission.

A new echograph, named “As de Cœur” was developed in 1988 by Matra and equipped with Vermon probes. It was utilized aboard the Mir orbital station from 1988 to 1999. Most recently, Vermon developed a bi-motorized probe for the Proxima (2016) and Alpha (2021) missions, continuing to support astronaut health monitoring in space.

The Vermon Group Growth History


Vermon Model Development.

  • 1984

    Establishment

  • 1988

    1.2 M$

  • 1991

    64% of revenue from exports

Strong International Expansion

  • 1997

    5 M$

  • 2001

    86% of revenue from exports

  • 2003

    10 M$

Significant Increase Based on Organic Growth and Acquisitions

  • 2011

    20 M$

  • 2017

    Establishment of Vermon NDT, USA.

  • 2018

    Acquisition of TransducerWorks, USA

  • 2022

    60 M$

  • 2023

    69 M$

Explore more about our History

1985

Vermon established its headquarters in the former Schmid facilities on Rue du Général-Renault in Tours, France.

The official opening took place on November 30, 1985, and was presided over by Mr. Hubert Curien, Minister of Research and Technology, with numerous national and local dignitaries in attendance.

14 Employees

Pr. Léandre Pourcelot, Pr. Thérèse Plagnol, Mr. Hubert Curien.
Pr. Léandre Pourcelot, Pr. Thérèse Plagnol, Mr. Hubert Curien.
Patrick Baudry
Patrick Baudry

On June 17, 1985, the Discovery space shuttle carried astronaut Patrick Baudry and the pioneering French Echocardiograph Experiment (FEE) into orbit.

This landmarkstudy, designed to analyze the cardiovascular system in space using a Doppler ultrasound device, featured an echocardiograph engineered by Matra-Interelec with Vermon-crafted sensors.

1988

24 Employees

Vermon pioneered the use of piezocomposite technology in single-element mechanical probes.

Vermon has developed a material that combines high efficiency, high damping coefficient, and low acoustic impedance: the piezoelectric ceramic-polymer composite

24 Employees

Annular Arrays 2,5 to 7 MHz.
Annular Arrays 2,5 to 7 MHz.

As de Coeur

In 1988, the Touraine researchers proposed a new Doppler ultrasound instrument called “As de Cœur” (manufactured by Matra with Vermon first generation transducer arrays). Selected by the CNES and the Soviets, it equipped the new orbital station MIR and was used from 1988 to 1999 during numerous missions.

As de Coeur with a Vermon Probe. 

As de Coeur with a Vermon Probe. 

Third-generation of piezocomposite with performance superior to basic piezoceramic.

Milestone in the commercial development of linear and curved probes with Piezocomposite.

Third-generation of piezocomposite with performance superior to basic piezoceramic.

Vermon has a large industrial production of this material for medical applications and the highest operating frequency (15 MHz) ever achieved by a piezoelectric ceramic-polymer composite.

1992

Development and delivery of a Doppler recording system, with its probes, adapted for onboard use during the launch phase of the American space shuttle (embarked and used in 1993).

1995

First volume production of high-density 7.5MHz linear arrays and 3.5MHz curved arrays for premium radiology, and high-performance annular arrays for 2D mechanical probes for cardiology.

First AFAQ ISO 9002 Certifications for the
First AFAQ ISO 9002 Certifications for the "Manufacture of Ultrasound Transducers for Medical and Industrial Applications."

1996

First performances of Vermon beyond 20 MHz.

50 Employees

1996 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium. Proceedings.

High frequency piezo-composite transducer array designed for ultrasound scanning applications.

Nguyen-Dinh; L. Ratsimandresy; P. Mauchamp;R. Dufait; A. Flesch; M. Lethiecq

1996 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium. Proceedings.

2000

First CMUT Program

TRANSCAM: “CMUTs for medical imaging”.
French Industry Ministry 2000 RNTS project

First R&D Program on Single Crystal

Development of relaxor-based improved piezoelectric single crystals-DORIS

European 5th Framework GROWTH Program project

(Partners: Vermon, Tours, France; MATECK, Julich, Germany; FEE, Idar-Oberstein, Germany; Institute of Crystal Growth, Berlin, Germany; CEA/CEREM(Center for Studies and Research in Materials, Grenoble, France).

100 Employees

2002

Global production of 15,000 arrays per year.

2002 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, 2002. Proceedings.

« A 3 MHz two dimensional arraybased on piezocomposite for medical imaging »

L. Ratsimandresy; P. Mauchamp; D. Dinet; 
N. Felix; R. Dufait

2002 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, 2002. Proceedings.

2005-06

September 26, 2005 - Visit by Renaud DUTREIL, Minister of SMEs, Commerce, Crafts, and Liberal Professions.
September 26, 2005 - Visit by Renaud DUTREIL, Minister of SMEs, Commerce, Crafts, and Liberal Professions.
March 10, 2006 - visit by Thierry Breton (Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry) and Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres (Minister of Culture and Communication).
March 10, 2006 - visit by Thierry Breton (Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry) and Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres (Minister of Culture and Communication).

2007

First ISO 13485 Certification

First ISO 13485 Certification
First ISO 13485 Certification

Vermon joins two competitiveness clusters:

Cosmetic Valley and Electrical Energy Sciences and Systems (S2E2).

S2e2 Cosmetic Valley

2014

Vermon joins the CERTeM (Center for Study and Research in Microelectronics Technology) as part of the Scientific Interest Group that brings together laboratories, public organizations, and private companies.

In 2014, CERTeM signed its framework agreement CERTeM 2020.

Certem

2016

IUS IUS

In 2016, Vermon participated and co-organized the prestigious IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, hosted in the historic city of Tours, France. The event took place at the VINCI Convention Center.

This symposium, was particularly meaningful for Vermon, given Tours’ significant contributions to the ultrasound field since the late 1960s. The conference not only highlighted Tours’ rich history in medical ultrasound, pioneered by Professor Léandre Pourcelot, but also underscored the region’s cultural and historical significance.

200 Employees

Vermon NDT

Establishment of Vermon NDT in Walhalla, South Carolina, our U.S. subsidiary specializing in the manufacture of ultrasonic probes for industrial applications.

2017

TransducerWorks

Acquisition of TransducerWorks, a US-based ultrasound manufacturer situated in the heart of the American ultrasound valley, next to Penn State University.

2018

Proxima

Vermon contributed with Sonoscanner to a pioneering initiative that launched an ultra-compact medical echograph into space, with full control from Earth.
This project aimed to oversee astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s health during the Proxima mission.

2023

In 2023, Vermon launched its CSR program, aptly named 'We Care'

In 2023, Vermon launched its CSR program, aptly named 'We Care'

300 Employees

UN Global Compact

As part of its CSR policy, Vermon is committed to supporting the United Nations Global Compact.

Ecovadis

First ECOVADIS certification: Silver medal awarded for scoring 63/100.

300 Employees