An ultrasound device is a very important tool for diagnostic purposes but despite it being safer and faster than other scans like CT or MRI, it remains quite underused. Ultrasound scan doesn’t require radiation like CT or magnet like MRI, and it’s a lot faster than both. Regular ultrasound devices are bulky and hence cannot be easily transported. This is why each department in a hospital has to use an ultrasound machine of their own.
This seems a bit stupid especially in today’s age where we move around with a very powerful tool like smartphones. But since the invention of portable ultrasound imaging devices, we can hope to forget about those bulky machines. A portable ultrasound imaging device can be easily carried to a patient’s bedside and the procedure can be done there. Today we will tell you about the applications of a portable ultrasound imaging device.
Screening of the Abdomen
In trauma management, Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma or, FAST is a standard protocol; it’s used in the emergency department usually and its rapid bedside ultrasound. FAST is used for the purpose of screening to find the presence of blood around the heart or abdominal organs. Portable ultrasound is quite effective in detecting an abdominal aortic aneurysm, and it can also be used to measure the abdominal aorta’s maximum diameter.
Portable ultrasound devices are useful when it comes to get faster results for cardiovascular disease treatment; for example, they can dictate proper management of risk factors and help select patients who can benefit from therapeutic procedures. They can also help screen patients who have DVT, and identify patients who are at a higher risk of stroke.
As of writing this, the handheld portable ultrasound devices cannot replace the traditional ultrasound devices but when an emergency situation occurs it can help. For instance, let’s say a pregnant woman is bleeding or has ruptured membranes, the portable device can be used to find out fetal viability, and fetal positioning which will be crucial to stopping a miscarriage.
Since the portable ultrasound device is almost as sensitive as arthroscopy in terms of detecting partial or complete rotator cuff tear of the shoulder, they can be used in the outpatient clinic to diagnose musculoskeletal problems. It can also be used to treat knee joints and swollen joints.
Doctors measure the residual urinary bladder volume while they search for urinary incontinence or evaluate urinary tract infections. This is done usually by an invasive method called catheterization. Which is also unpleasant and has a risk of getting the patient infected. Portable ultrasound devices are non-invasive and they offer a great solution to the problem of measuring bladder volume and their results are almost as accurate.
It goes without saying that a portable device is much more convenient, faster, and saves more time than a bulky device. Although the bulky ultrasound devices cannot be replaced right now, portable ultrasound imaging devices are gaining popularity due to its more advantageous characteristics and hopefully, we don’t have to rely on bulky devices.