With more than 10,000 downloads already, a new free interactive mobile learning application for point-of-care medical ultrasound has been generating buzz in the first few weeks since its release.

One tap of a finger transports health care providers from the patient?s bedside to the SonoAccess, an on-demand educational library of clinical and instructional videos, case studies, reimbursement information, and reference guides on point-of-care ultrasound applications.

The result of a collaborative effort between Seattle-based Slalom Consulting and nearby hand-carried ultrasound provider SonoSite, SonoAccess is now available for download directly from iTunes or the App Store to the iPhone or iPod Touch. Content quality was specifically designed for these two avenues in order to ensure the best possible viewing experience.

Diku Mandavia, MD, clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Southern California and SonoSite advisor, said high customer ratings and accolades in medical trade journals and blogs demonstrate that interest in the app is high.

?Education has been a long-standing commitment and priority at SonoSite,? said Gina Kelly, SonoSite?s director for Digital Community. ?Physicians need practical tools that provide quick and easy access to information. SonoAccess takes the concept of a pocket reference guide to a whole new level and places a comprehensive library of ultrasound videos and information right in the palm of a clinician?s hand.?

SonoAccess puts instructional videos, case studies, reimbursement information, and more?at your fingertips.

David Uhler, Slalom?s national director for research and development, said his firm took SonoSite?s established solution and revamped it using innovative technology infrastructure. Upon installing the application, users can create a brief profile, including information about the users? specialties and utilized products. ?This profile is used to promote more relevant information to the user based on their selections,? Uhler explained. ?This means an anesthesiologist in Los Angeles using a MicroMaxx will get information more relevant to their work versus the emergency department physician in Melbourne using an S Series who will get their own content presented to best fit their profile.?

Indeed, ED physicians are utilizing ultrasound on a regular basis. According to a report published in 2008 by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) titled ?National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2006 Emergency Department Summary,? ultrasound was used in 3.1% of visits to ED departments across the country in 2006.

According to Uhler, the new SonoAccess application has been optimized to allow for the best possible video and audio quality as well as an efficient load time on Wi-Fi and wireless networks around the globe. He also explained that the application?s supporting infrastructure employs Amazon Web Services and their worldwide content distribution network, which is known as CloudFront. As a result, users are getting content as localized as possible to them, speeding up the application?s performance.

Covering the emergency medicine, anesthesiology, and critical care markets, the initial release is specifically tailored for physicians and residents who may want a refresher on ultrasound anatomy and pathology. Nevertheless, the application is free for download by anyone. Although the app is highly clinical and written for the medical professional, Mandavia notes that patients may find it interesting. Agreeing with Mandavia, Uhler said, ?I personally think that taking an interest in your health care is just a natural part of more and more information being available to people in general.? Still, Uhler noted that SonoAccess? interactive functions may be a bit too much for a layman.

As far as planned future releases, the companies say that additional high-quality images, manuals, and procedural videos are in the process of being created. ?There is a tremendous drive to make sure that new content is always available in the application,? Uhler said. ?User feedback that can be provided on all pieces of content is reviewed and taken very seriously as part of the SonoAccess content road map.?

Those interested in viewing a demo video of SonoAccess can visit www.sonosite.com/products/sonoaccess.

Ed Wilson is a contributing writer for Axis Imaging News.