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POCUS: To the World and Beyond

Some of the world’s greatest discoveries have happened, well, by accident. Benjamin Franklin was flying a kite when he discovered the power of electricity. Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin only after first throwing it away. Frank Epperson discovered the popsicle when he unintentionally left a cup of stirred powdered soda and water on his porch overnight, only to discover the chilly treat the next morning. Focus on Pocus podcast guest Dr. Cliff Gronseth tripped over his dog and sprained his ankle. After realizing how difficult it was to take an ultrasound of his injury, he wondered if there was an easier way to harness the power of ultrasound to scan and diagnose injuries. Today, Dr. Gronseth is the founder of the NYAGI Project, which educates and empowers medical professionals to harness the power of ultrasound technology to serve patients in some of the most remote and underserved areas of the world.

In the January 22, 2019 podcast “Using POCUS to change the World, Dr. Cliff Gronseth takes us along his journey and shares his passion for saving lives with POCUS.

Dr. Cliff Gronseth is a triple board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine, and pain medicine. He is the founder and manager of Spine West, an outpatient private practice in Boulder Colorado, focused on outpatient musculoskeletal medicine, pain management and ultrasound. He is also the founder and CEO of 7D Imaging, Inc., which is focused on providing ultrasound imaging education and skill development. But it is as the founder of the NYAGI project that Dr. Gronseth lives out his passion of bringing ultrasound to the world; to those who have the greatest need, but the least resources and access. Dr. Gronseth and the NYAGI project bridges the gap between ultrasound technology and educating those who need to harness its power to serve their communities.

Dr. Gronseth shares that with technological advances, ultrasound imaging is still underutilized even though the technology itself is now smaller and less expensive.  According to Dr. Gronseth, the main barrier is educating medical personnel and educating them in a way generates confidence and expertise. He believes in learning by doing rather than learning at a conference or seminar. Why? Because it is important to allow people to learn at their own pace, grow in confidence, and simultaneously serve those in the most need.

The NYAGI project stands for “Now You Are the Group’s Interest” and its mission is to “save lives through ultrasound”. Practically, the organization provides tablet-based educational software and hands-on training to medical professionals who serve pregnant women who live in remote villages with little to no access to ultrasound for the diagnosis of potentially life-threatening conditions. For example, NYAGI has equipped nurses in Nepal, India to go to villages and provide ultrasounds to pregnant women there. As a result of this preventative work, ultrasound technology is credited with saving at least 10 women and their babies a month. How does this happen? Because ultrasound technology is “like a crystal ball,” per Dr. Gronseth, and can detect the onset of conditions like placenta previa or an aortic aneurysm. Such detection has the power to save the life of the mother and the baby.

Dr. Gronseth is a pioneer in preventive POCUS. Although he didn’t have the means to grow the technology, he took a hold of what he could impact in his world. He recycled older technology and this essentially became an access point to those in third world countries to gain much needed medical care that is not readily available. Look at what POCUS can do when you, one individual, take a hold of what is in your power to do. POCUS is the focus of how Dr. Gronseth is changing the world.

How can you support NYAGI? Please visit www.nyagi.org to learn more as well as to contact Dr. Cliff Gronseth. He welcomes questions, comments, and support by way of volunteer interest, iPad donations, and money to continue to help bring ultrasound to areas with less access to ultrasound.

To learn even more about Dr. Gronseth’s journey on saving lives through POCUS, please click here to listen to the entire podcast.

[Invention source: https://www.businessinsider.com/accidental-inventions-that-changed-the-world-2016-6#play-doh-1, accessed 3-18-19]

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