A recent editorial in the journal Global Heart suggests that the hand-held ultrasound may soon replace the stethoscope
The authors wrote, “Many experts have argued that ultrasound has become the stethoscope of the 21st century,” and point out that several manufacturers offer hand-held ultrasound machines slightly larger than a deck of cards with technology and screens similar to today’s smartphones. Konica Minolta Medical Imaging’s newly launched SONIMAGE P3 is a hand-held ultrasound device intended for use at the point-of-care to help clinicians visually assess a patient efficiently and immediately for a rapid diagnosis that can improve health at an affordable price.
Konica Minolta’s recent acquisition of Panasonic Healthcare’s ultrasonic diagnostic equipment business will enable the company to continue developing ultrasound technology and innovative new probes. “Konica Minolta had the foresight to see and understand the impact and clinical value of hand-held ultrasound in the delivery of patient care—both within hospitals and physician offices,” says Diane Hunt, Vice President of Marketing, Konica Minolta Medical Imaging. “Ultrasound is a cornerstone of our primary imaging solutions business strategy and will represent a significant portion of our continued investment in technology.” While the authors cite cost, lack of accessibility and training as factors impacting the prevalence of ultrasound in all clinical settings, they predict that as technology costs continue to decrease there will be a corresponding increase in the acquisition of hand-held ultrasound devices.