GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, is launching its new Vscan, pocket-sized ultrasound for point of care applications in the emergency room and on the go.  The device received 510(k) clearance in the U.S. by the FDA recently, and is also cleared for use in Canada, the European Union, and India.

GE’s Vscan joins several other vendors who’ve recently developed these small handheld visualization tools that may be used to provide physicians with imaging capabilities at the point-of-care.

The Vscan is described by GE as “a prescription device for ultrasound imaging, measurement and analysis in the clinical applications of abdominal; cardiac (adult and pediatric); urological, fetal/OB; pediatric; and thoracic/pleural motion and fluid detection, as well as for patient examination in primary care and in special care areas.”

Vscan is small, especially compared to hand carried ultrasounds. It is essentially the size of a large cell phone. While not a replacement for the larger systems, point of care physicians will be able to have an extremely portable, non-invasive way to obtain visual information about what is happening inside the body.

Anthony N. DeMaria, MD, professor of medicine at the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has used the device in his practice. He commented in the press release, “Having Vscan at my disposal at all times has allowed me to use ultrasound in a number of settings and with patients that I wouldn’t have anticipated before – from the ICU, to the outpatient clinic as well as with ambulatory patients.”

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