There are also more readily accessible training opportunities, such as telemedicine capabilities, which allow technicians to share images and request insight from peers. This allows for remote supervision and addresses common training barriers, such as personnel shortages and unbalanced resource distribution.
On top of this, several medical schools have integrated handheld ultrasound training into their undergraduate and post-graduate medical curricula. In fact, in a recent study, medical residents found that by implementing pocket-size ultrasound examinations that took less than 11 minutes to the usual care, they were able to correct, verify, or add important diagnoses in more than one of three emergency medical admissions.
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As more current and future doctors learn how to use the device, they will better understand its benefits and will be more eager to integrate it into their practices.
Reduced market costs will drive increased adoption
Until recently, diagnostic imaging technology was not only clunky and difficult to transport, but also came at a steep price. Fortunately, innovation has reduced the size of handheld ultrasound devices, while bringing down costs. As a result, the market is at a tipping point and is moving from early adopters to mainstream users. Currently, there are more than 240,000 primary care physicians in the United States alone, and they continue to be seen as future adopters of handheld ultrasound.
It is expected that by 2023, the global market for handheld ultrasound will exceed $400 million, with more and more primary care physicians integrating the device into their practice.
As AI, ease of use, and reduced costs become the hallmarks of handheld ultrasound, these devices could become as essential and common as the stethoscope.
About the author: Jyoti Gera is the general manager for primary & affordable care at GE Healthcare.Back to HCB News