A new high-definition handheld ultrasound device can help make cardiac ultrasounds more rapid and convenient, without the need for traditional bulky ultrasound equipment. With the device, a scan of the heart can be conducted at a patient’s bedside in a hospital, or in a doctor’s office or clinic. The scan generates high-quality images with results delivered to medical providers through an app on their smartphone or tablet.
The handheld ultrasound has been developed by Vancouver-based Clarius Mobile Health, a pioneer and innovator in high-definition (HD) portable medical imaging devices. The company announced this week that its Clarius Phased Array (PA) HD scanner for high-resolution cardiac imaging is now available, along with the Clarius Ultrasound App 7.3.0, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The device allows for high-quality imaging for point-of-care assessments of cardiovascular conditions. It includes a cardiovascular measurements package and pulsed wave doppler to allow for the rapid diagnosis of cardiac conditions.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has spurred demand for convenient, off-site/remote medical technologies in almost every area of healthcare.
“Since the start of the pandemic, more physicians than ever are using handheld scanners for cardiac and lung exams because they are simple to carry from one isolated room to another. Our wireless scanners have the added advantage that they are easy to disinfect,” said Clarius CEO Laurent Pelissier in a press release from the company.
Clarius PA HD is a wireless handheld scanner that produces clear cardiac ultrasound images and fast frame rates comparable to conventional hospital ultrasound systems. As the only scanner of its kind, it can generate high-resolution cardiac images owing to its advanced octal beamformer processing technology.
With features such as Clarius Live telemedicine and Clarius Cloud, the scanning system helps medical professionals conduct, review, guide and monitor ultrasound results from multiple patients and scans. It also allows physicians to connect with colleagues for rapid remote consultations and briefings. Medical professionals can easily share, print and store medical reports over Clarius’ network.
The scanner was designed specifically for cardiac and lung imaging but can also be used to scan the entire body including the bladder and gynecological areas.
Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) imaging has been growing in popularity as it allows patients to be scanned in many different situations and environments outside of hospital settings. For example, it can be used for quick assessments of heart function in an ambulance on the way to a hospital during an emergency, or right at a doctor’s office without having to go to an imaging department.
And this is of particular relevance during the ongoing pandemic during which evaluation of cardiac and lung function is important for COVID-19 patients, and doing so in a rapid and safe manner without overwhelming imaging departments in hospitals or clinics.
The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) has also recognized the value and prevalence of POCUS during the pandemic. The society commented in a statement that, “…the rapid, bedside assessment of the heart, chest and vessels using POCUS has propelled this tool to the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. POCUS is usually conducted by the treating provider to obtain real-time information for management decisions.”
Clarius’ HD scanner is also being promoted for lung imaging for COVID-19. Imaging the lungs has, in fact, been touted to have greater utility in diagnosing the condition over traditional PCR-based tests. The phased array, curvilinear and linear scanners come with lung presets which enable medical providers to perform scans within seconds. In addition, Clarius says that the handheld ultrasound systems offer the added benefit of easier infection control measures, as they can be completely encased and quickly disinfected after an exam when moving from patient to patient.
“Our goal is to equip cardiac specialists with a handheld system that will serve them well during the pandemic and beyond by providing outstanding image quality in a compact form without wires,” said Pelissier.
Clarius introduced its first portable scanner in 2016 which is available in more than 50 countries now. Clarius has about 27,000 users that have performed over 750,000 scans since introduction of its first device. The new Clarius HD model is currently available in the United States, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Korea, with other countries to follow.