Rethinking Healthcare

Smartphone offers ultrasound technology for rural communities

Smartphone offers ultrasound technology for rural communities

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A smartphone that works as an ultrasound scanner may change the way doctors use healthcare in rural areas across the US.

The healthcare industry is changing. As doctors across the nation struggle to keep up, we're reminded that the stakes are higher than ever before. According to Reuters, experts at The Association of American Medical Colleges say a shortage of almost 63,000 doctors is expected by the year 2015. But how will this affect patients in rural communities?

Doctors in rural communities are facing bigger caseloads and fewer resources. To bridge the gap, doctors are turning to the latest healthcare apps for a helping hand. In February, the FDA approved Mobisante's MobiUS SP1 smartphone, an ultrasound image system designed for use by the smartphone. The ultrasound image system will be sold in October, according to Bloomberg.

According to reporting by Olga Kharif at Bloomberg:

Mobisante’s ultrasound attachment, for example, costs $7,495. Though the images aren’t the highest quality available, a top-of-the-line ultrasound machine costs as much as $100,000, and Mobisante’s device is “easily the best bang for your buck,” says Jason C. Wagner, an emergency department doctor in St. Louis, who reviewed it for Emergency Physicians Monthly.

The MobiUS Sp1 smartphone connects with three parts. First, a probe is plugged into the USB port for the smartphone. After the probe is connected, special software turns a regular phone into a compact ultrasound machine.

Other highlights of the MobiUS Sp1 smartphone include:

  • Connection. The ultrasound image system can be connected directly to a phone or through a Wi-Fi network.
  • Emergency use. According to the Mobisante website, the ultrasound image system can be used even if internet access is limited  during a hurricane or storm.
  • Instant e-mail. Ultrasound images can be easily e-mailed to a hospital or PC.
  • Battery life. According to the Mobisante website, the device can last up to an hour without a new charge.

Image: via Mobisante website

via Bloomberg

via Mobisante

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Stacy Lipson

Contributing Writer

Contributing Writer Stacy Lipson has written for Natural Health, MSNBC's Body Odd, HealthDay.com, Sprig.com, BNET.com, MarieClaire.com, MyDaily.com and Lemondrop.com. He holds a degree from Temple University. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure