hospital_signThree out of every five children live in poverty in Detroit, where the infant mortality rate is two and a half times the national rate, at 15 per 1,000 live births. Here, nearly 6 of 10 infants that die did not receive adequate prenatal care.

Konica Minolta Medical Imaging seeks to improve these numbers through the charitable donation of its SONIMAGE P3 handheld ultrasound to Covenant Community Care, a faith-based, charitable nonprofit community health center. Often providing care to patients who do not have health insurance and cannot afford to pay for services, the center operates six clinics throughout metro Detroit.

“Forty percent of our patients are uninsured and they struggle to get access to diagnostic tests done,” said Paul Propson, CEO of Covenant Community Care. “We struggle to help them get it done, as we can’t waive those fees with referrals. An ultrasound study for our patients may be out of reach if it weren’t for this generous gift from Konica Minolta Medical Imaging.”

Providers will have an excellent tool to facilitate good prenatal care, according to Lisa McIntosh, obstetrician/gynecologist at Covenant Community Care. “This is particularly true in a low resource setting, where it is difficult for patients to get rides and to obtain extra appointments at the hospital, much less pay for these services,” she said. “With this ultrasound system, we have a window into the womb that can help us deliver the appropriate care to the mother and her unborn child.”

The SONIMAGE P3 is a true portable ultrasound machine that provides information in real time, allowing clinicians to make clinically confident and informed decisions at the point of care. Weighing less than a pound and intuitively designed like a smart phone, the handheld device can accelerate and improve interventions and decision-making time.

“Konica Minolta understands the importance of enabling clinicians to deliver quality care at the point-of-care,” said David Widmann, president and CEO, Konica Minolta Medical Imaging. “For over 15 years, Covenant Community Care has been helping our most vulnerable patients – those living in poverty, without health insurance, and in many cases homeless. That’s why when Covenant Community Care reached out to us, and shared their need for diagnostic ultrasound to help combat the high infant mortality rate in Detroit by providing ultrasound for prenatal care, or to take into the field for their homeless outreach healthcare program, we listened and acted.”

The device is set for use in ob/gyn appointments, as well as in the evaluation of other vascular and soft tissue conditions, according to Scott Stryd, chief medical officer at Covenant Community Care. “Transportation is a huge issue, even if the patient has insurance, so this will help us remove several obstacles to care in addition to cost,” he said.

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