POCUS—The Future of Ultrasound is Here
The Future is Here
“The first stage of truth is it’s ridiculed. Then, it’s violently opposed, and then it’s regarded as self-evident”. A self-reflective and powerful quote from the FOCUS on POCUS podcast guest speaker Deborah Crotty on how she responded to new technology years ago when it was introduced in the hospital she worked in at the time. Deborah Crotty, RT (retired), RDMS (AB, NE, OB/GYN), RVT(VT) is an entrepreneur and an independent contractor and consultant for Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS). To her current roles, she brings a wealth of experience from her work as a sonographer in cardiology, radiology, and vascular ultrasound departments in many hospitals. She has supervised departments as well as trained medical professionals in the use of POCUS technology. Today, Deborah Crotty works to educate and train medical professionals on the usage of hand-held devices. She talks about the future of this technology on the FOCUS on POCUS podcast that aired on January 14, 2019.
The Future is Dynamic
Deborah Crotty shares that POCUS began in 2004 in an ICU unit in Denmark, before making its way to the United States. Still today, POCUS is the fastest growing area in ultrasound. “This technology is developing so much faster than training and certification, and many people aren’t aware of the advancements of point-of-care,” says Crotty. With healthcare systems becoming more complicated and physicians being held more accountable, Crotty encourages medical professionals to learn more about this technology and its benefits. Other entities are taking notice. For example, Crotty shares that medical schools are beginning to offer ultrasound training and emergency departments offer ultrasound fellowships for their professionals. Beyond medical arenas, POCUS technology is reaching into new areas such as extending into new territories as well – in ambulances, the military, missionary work, and cruise ships, to name a few.
The Future is Inclusive
Using portable ultrasound technology – like Butterfly IQ, Philips Lumify, GE Vscan Extend, SonoSite, SONON 300L, Mindray M7 and Clarius Wireless- revolutionizes the way medical professional initially diagnose and evaluate their patients. By placing the power of POCUS in the hands of more medical personnel, the pace and power of more accurate diagnoses are readily available for patients. Instead of having to send a patient somewhere else for an ultrasound, a medical professional- whether a doctor, nurse, physician assistant, midwife, sonographer, or even an EMT- can triage a patient within 5 to 15 minutes using POCUS.
The Future is Disruptive
POCUS technology has been described as a disruptive technology, which can be defined as “one that displaces an established technology, shakes up the industry, or a groundbreaking product that creates a completely different industry.” Crotty agrees with this definition and adds that “these handheld units are smaller, faster, cheaper, and getting smarter with artificial intelligence.” “They may be the new stethoscope in our first aid kits in the future!” adds Crotty.
POCUS devices use artificial intelligence to illuminate, evaluate, and initially diagnose a patient’s medical condition. These devices are now connected to HIPAA compliant apps and cloud for secure storage of medical records and patient information. Best of all, they empower you to assess your patient’s condition in minutes.
This is POCUS!
With the advances of POCUS, Crotty cautions against the idea that these machines will replace medical professionals. Medical professionals are needed to make the images better and translate the findings to their patients. POCUS will help medical professionals be more accountable and accurate.
To hear Deborah Crotty share her passion about POCUS as the technology of the future tune in to the full episode.
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