Pocket sized ultrasound
7 Healthcast: Pocket sized ultrasound
The high-tech tool is a pocket-sized ultrasound letting physicians take a quick look inside a patient to help better diagnose a problem.
"I'm seeing the major pumping chamber of his heart his left ventricle," said Cardiologist Dr. Tony DeMaria.
DeMaria looked at his patient's heart using a small hand-held ultrasound devise called the Vscan. The device allowed him to quickly screen for abnormalities.
"In the past we deduced what was happening in the heart from what we heard. Now we can visualize it directly," DeMaria said.
Patient James Himmelsbach has had problems with his coronary arteries and concerns with high blood pressure.
He got a scan without the stress of a more complex procedure.
"For this kind of experience it's non-anxiety provoking because here I am in an office, in a hospital setting but not really," Himmelsbach said.
After a visual check the third grade teacher from Solona Beach got a good report.
"I don't see any evidence that his heart is contracting abnormally," DeMaria said.
The Vscan runs on a rechargeable battery and can be linked to a computer to download information.
Weighing less than a pound and small enough to fit in his pocket, Dr. DeMaria said patients have been surprised.
"They're all relatively amazed that so much technology can be put into such a small package," DeMaria said.
Dr. DeMaria says although it doesn't deliver the resolution and detail of a full eco-cardiograph, it has the potential to transform the way doctors see patients.
"I anticipate that in the future that small handheld ultrasound devises will be incorporated into almost every aspect of a regular physical examination," DeMaria said.
The hope is that the Vscan will cut costs by reducing the number of patient referrals.
Ultrasounds will be easy enough to perform in your doctor's office - so you don't have to see a specialist.
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