Recently, the Wall Street Journal did a great piece on how mobile technology is being used in medicine. They looked at the major avenues of use — from the hospital to personal to emergency care settings.
They gave an example of how a cardiologist has stopped carrying a stethoscope, and now just uses mobile ultrasound, a modality we have highlighted numerous times in the past.
Dr. Topol, a cardiologist in San Diego, carries with him instead a portable ultrasound device roughly the size of a cellphone. When he puts it to a patient’s chest, the device allows him to peer directly into the heart. The patient looks, too; together, they check out the muscle, the valves, the rhythm, the blood flow.
“Why would I listen to ‘lub dub’ when I can see everything?” Dr. Topol says.
As mentioned in our article on mobile ultrasound, research continues to show how the modality can be used to improve outcomes, such as with central line procedures.
With the continued improvements in ultrasound mobility, will physicians be required to become more proficient in the modality?
I would argue yes. For cardiac sounds, it will replace the stethoscope in the future, and it will eventually become a part of medical school curriculums once pricing goes down — right now the price point is $8,000. The value added by ultrasound is tremendous. The ability to look at not only cardiac pathology, but abdominal, eye, venous, arterial, and more. (read more)