Versatility of Compact Ultrasound at Point of Care Scenario

Nitin Gupta
Advt.

In last two decades, there is a significant advancement in ultrasound technology especially in terms of image quality, compactness, performance and affordability, which has led to the growth of point-of-care ultrasound— that is, ultrasonography, brought to the patient and performed/interpreted by the physician in real time.

Since ultrasound imaging is non-invasive, provides real-time information and does not utilize ionizing radiation, the rapid and accurate acquisition of diagnostic information through ultrasound at point of care (POC) by trained physicians’ results in improved quality of care and significantly reduces overall healthcare costs.

Initially ultrasound was typically considered as the screening tool to monitor pregnancy but actually the device has augmented its value beyond maternal health for head to toe clinical applications. The information obtained through an ultrasound exam conducted prior to the surgical procedure or as guidance during a minimally invasive intervention is important for decision making in many medical conditions by surgeons, nephrologists, emergency medicine physicians and other specialists. Indeed, without ultrasound many clinicians are unable to offer their patients the most advanced, efficacious diagnosis and exact action plan for treatment.

Nowadays, Point-of-care (POC) ultrasound has been extensively used in various medical specialties for varied clinical applications (refer below Chart) and is broadly segmented into procedural and diagnostic applications.
Versatility of Compact Ultrasound at Point of Care Scenario


Utilization of compact ultrasound during proceduralguidance for regional anesthesia,central and peripheral vascular access, paracentesis, pericardiocentesis,incision and drainage of abscesses, localization and removal of foreign bodies, biopsies etc.improve success rate and decrease medical complications in multifarious specialties.

POC ultrasound usually involves the use of focused ultrasonography examinations to efficiently diagnose or rule out certain conditions in patients such as chest pain, hypotension, or dyspnea. In patients with trauma, this approach is known as FAST (focused assessment with sonography for trauma). POC ultrasound allows dynamic and repeated assessments in these situations and has the potential to detect conditions such as pneumothorax in which ultrasonography was traditionally thought to be unconstructive. Ultrasonography has been shown to be more accurate than chest radiography for the detection of pleural effusion, consolidation, and alveolar interstitial syndrome in the critical care scenario.

Over the years, ultrasound has established its value and nowadays it is increasingly being used in resource-limited settings, notably during disaster management. The compact ultrasound machines are also quite beneficial in prehospital settings, including ambulance and in remote battlefield medicine. The e‑FAST examination for diagnosing internal bleeding and pneumothorax has been the most illustrated application in the prehospital setting. Bedside ultrasound is particularly useful when symptoms are unclear or cannot be detected by physical examination. It is also effective in avoiding more invasive and potentially harmful diagnostic investigation.

The vogue of POC Ultrasound will continue to diffuse across medical specialties and transform the care delivery model. Being a user-dependent modality, the future challenges include gaining a better understanding of when and how point-of-care ultrasonography can be used effectively, determining the training needs and assessment that will be required to ensure competent use of the technology, and a solid blueprint that maximises quality of care while minimising patient risk.

As ultrasound technology continuously spread around the world, the innovative competency of ultrasound manufacturers to develop new intuitive and highly-advanced technologies will lead to even better visualization and improved patient care. Manufactures putting continual efforts to improve the quality of their devices should also need to ensure that their products are appropriately used by a trained healthcare professional.

Indubitably the ultrasound is indispensable in healthcare delivery model and should be part of the evolving pedagogy of worldwide health.

Sonosite Educational Offerings: A Key Differentiator

Versatility of Compact Ultrasound at Point of Care Scenario
Our industry revolutionising development of point-of-care ultrasound brought about the need for ongoing education in the field for physicians. SonoSite was the first POC Ultrasound manufacturer that was fully dedicated to helping medical professionals learn to use ultrasound at the bedside. SonoSite have partnered with clinician educators around the world to produce specialty specific POC ultrasound education resources. SonoSite’s online and in-person educational options are designed to improve physicians’ knowledge of ultrasound practices. SonoSite’s current educational offerings includes-

SonoSite Institute (POC dedicated Educational Web Portal – for SonoSite customers)
SonoAccess (Mobile Ultrasound App – no cost, available to anyone with a smartphone)
Visual Medicine Workshops (Global Standardised Program)
Expert-Led Webinars
Partner Training Courses with Key Institutions
In-Person Product Training (Post-Installation)
Videos (YouTube)
Clinical media on the SonoSite.com/in website
(Brand Connect Initiative)

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