A mobile phone-sized ultrasound scanner that speeds up diagnosis of potentially life-threatening conditions has been hailed as a “huge step forward” by medical professionals.
GE Healthcare said its Vscan device, described as a cross between a mobile phone and an iPod, will enable doctors to diagnose conditions quicker by taking images of the body outside the hospital setting.
The £5,000 hand-held device could be used in GP’s surgeries, care homes or military situations, GE Healthcare claims.
George Sutherland, professor of cardiac imaging at St George’s, London, the first doctor in Britain to use the machine, said: “In terms of clinical practice it’s a huge step forward.
“We’re giving people essentially an electronic stethoscope in their pocket…with adequate training this should mean we can diagnose rapidly and treat accordingly. It should be an amazing development.”
The makers said the Vscan, which has already been launched in Europe and the US, could drastically improve identification of potential problems and enable early treatment.