Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bedside ultrasound becomes a reality

Date:
February 24, 2011
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Clinicians have often referred to ultrasound technology as the "stethoscope of the future," predicting that as the equipment shrinks in size, it will one day be as common at the bedside as that trusty tool around every physician's neck. According to a new report, that day has arrived.

Ultrasound use has moved beyond traditional specialties like radiology and is now being routinely employed by clinicians across myriad medical specialties and practice areas, according to a new report by Yale School of Medicine clinicians.
Credit: iStockphoto

Clinicians have often referred to ultrasound technology as the "stethoscope of the future," predicting that as the equipment shrinks in size, it will one day be as common at the bedside as that trusty tool around every physician's neck. According to a new report in The New England Journal of Medicine, that day has arrived.

Related Articles


The "Current Concepts" article by Yale School of Medicine clinicians Christopher L. Moore, M.D., and Joshua A. Copel, M.D., outlines how ultrasound use has moved beyond traditional specialties like radiology and is now being routinely employed by clinicians across myriad medical specialties and practice areas. From anesthesia to vascular surgery, Moore and Copel say, the use of ultrasonography has increased across the board, with the biggest growth seen among non-radiologists.

Over the past two decades, the equipment used in ultrasonography -- a safe, effective and non-invasive form of imaging that aids in diagnosis and guides procedures -- has become more compact, higher quality and less expensive, leading to the growth of point-of-care ultrasonography, which is performed and interpreted by the clinician at the bedside.

"Ideally, point-of-care ultrasonography can decrease medical errors, provide more real-time diagnosis, and supplement or replace more advanced imaging in appropriate situations," said Moore, assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Yale School of Medicine. "Point-of-care ultrasonography may also allow more widespread, less expensive screening for certain illnesses."

Ultrasound imaging uses the same sonar developed for ships at sea. As sound passes through the body it produces echoes, which can identify the distance, size and shape of objects inside. During an examination, a machine called a transducer is used to view an organ and produce pictures. The transducer emits sound and detects the returning echoes when it is placed on or over the body part being studied.

"Ultrasonography quality has improved dramatically and machine sizes and prices have shrunk even more dramatically," said Copel, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale. "The quality of images available now on inexpensive handheld machines is better than those of systems that cost over $100,000 15 years ago."

Some medical schools are training students to use ultrasound before they choose a specialty, according to Moore. He points out that ultrasound has been used on Mount Everest, the international space station, and in battlefield situations, an indication of its versatility as a diagnostic tool. But he cautions that indiscriminate use of ultrasonography could lead to unnecessary testing, unnecessary interventions in the case of false positive findings, or inadequate investigation of false negative findings.

"More imaging could simply lead to increased expense without added benefit, or might even be harmful without appropriate training and quality assurance," said Moore. "As this technology grows, we need a better understanding of when and how it can be used effectively and competently."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher L. Moore, Joshua A. Copel. Point-of-Care Ultrasonography. New England Journal of Medicine, 2011; 364 (8): 749 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra0909487

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Bedside ultrasound becomes a reality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223171247.htm>.
Yale University. (2011, February 24). Bedside ultrasound becomes a reality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223171247.htm
Yale University. "Bedside ultrasound becomes a reality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223171247.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins