Canadian health care company Clarius Mobile Health recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared their mobile medical devices the C3 and L7 Clarius Wireless Ultrasound Scanners. The handheld scanners pair with a smartphone or tablet via the Clarius medical app, letting your mobile device become the ultrasound screen.
In March of 2016, the company introduced the device which foregoes the wires and bulky equipment that usually confines ultrasounds to hospitals and clinics. The Clarius C3 is a scanner that can image the lungs, abdomen, and, with a virtual phased array, the heart. The Clarius L7 designed to assist in guiding procedures and imaging superficial structures. Both devices basically replace the entire console that usually comes with the ultrasound probe with the smartphone or tablet already in your pocket.
In a statement, Clarius CEO and Chairman, Laurent Pelissier, shares his excitement over these developments:
There appears to be a growing trend of digital health care companies receiving FDA clearance for innovations designed to deliver more efficient patient care. We are delighted to bring a new class of affordable and easy to use ultrasound to the medical community in the United States.
But FDA approval doesn’t always mean greater accuracy. For example, take Withings Thermo Accurate thermometer that we reviewed last year. The company maintains, however, that the images are “impressive.”
What we do know is that the C3 and C7 are less cumbersome than a traditional ultrasound scanner, and they are completely wireless with rechargeable and replaceable batteries as well as wireless connectivity. The small devices wirelessly connect to a smartphone or tablet via a Clarius medical app that is available on iOS and Android. Both the equipment and batteries are fully submersible in liquid.
Several years ago, we covered Mobisante who developed a mobile ultrasound device that also works on a smartphone or tablet. The big difference though was that it was restricted to Android devices that was provided with the ultrasound itself – in other words, you can’t use your own smartphone or tablet.
This means clinicians are no longer bound to the distance the plug on the ultrasound machine can reach and can now evaluate patients anywhere. While there are a lot of other small, mobile ultrasound probes on the market like Mobisante, the simple advantage here is that just having to carry the Clarius probe (and not a separate tablet or console) reduces the bulk a lot and makes it that much more portable. While the price point will keep it from being a standard part of the average clinicians toolkit for now, that will surely change with time as enterprising innovators figure out how to lower costs.