The cardiology practice has always placed special emphasis on imaging technologies, often being one of the first to adopt new solutions as they emerge. With the heart being such a vital organ, there has always been a pronounced need for eyes-on ultrasound solutions, even if the machine weighed 500 pounds and had an entire wing devoted to its maintenance.
Those days are fortunately behind us. Newer ultrasound devices have been getting smaller and more amenable to the sometimes frantic pace of clinical life, while sometimes even improving upon the image quality of the old machines. Portable ultrasound devices like the ones Vave Health has developed can help cardiologists in many ways.
Streamlining Cardiology Challenges
No one will ever make cardiology “easy,” but its routine challenges — those inefficiencies that detract from the core of the work — can be sanded out. Is there really a need for medical facilities to be overwhelmed with ultrasound requests? Or for physicians to navigate crowded conditions and bulky machinery before identifying their patients’ ailments?
When we speak of handheld ultrasound devices being more convenient and efficient, we of course mean that they enhance the naturalness and fluidity of the job. Your eyes cannot look straight into the chest cavity to see a damaged ventricle, but point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) technology places an imaging solution into your hands, at the very moment of the examination.
The less machine there is standing between you and your patient, the faster, more easily, and more fluidly you can focus on helping them.
What’s more, the image quality of portable ultrasound devices like Vave now rivals that of the older, more expensive machines. Gone are the days of being relegated to grainy, 2D images and a good hunch. Modern imaging technologies are fast becoming like an extension of your own eye and placing that power in the palm of your hand.
Ease of Use Helps Overall Patient Care
Dr. John Gorcsan III predicted in 2003 that portable ultrasound solutions would one day be a staple of bedside cardiology. To this day, many models still need to be moved around on carts, but others are about the size of a convenient laptop. Vave is a wireless, handheld ultrasound solution, weighing only 0.75 pounds, that offers real-time imaging in conjunction with a smartphone or tablet.
This level of portability dramatically amplifies a patient’s access to top-quality ultrasound imaging.
When you no longer need to send the patient to another room — perhaps one whose ultrasound equipment takes up the entire space — you naturally reduce the impact of crowding, free up appointment time, and become more flexible yourself. You can evaluate cardiology cases in the moment, finding fast solutions when they’re appropriate and referring patients out who truly need to be referred.
The affordability of ultrasound solutions like Vave also improves patient care and access. Instead of being limited to one or two areas for ultrasounds, medical facilities can greatly expand their imaging capabilities by providing portable ultrasound devices in each department, as standard a piece of equipment as any other. This can save cost as well as time.
Vave in particular can help economize in this regard. Although it’s a handheld ultrasound device, its high-quality images can be reproduced at any computer station — or even reproduced simultaneously across multiple phones or tablets at once, using Vave Cast. The images are encrypted and easily accessible from the mobile device itself or through the cloud.
More Benefits for Cardiologists
There’s a certain subtle but definitive benefit to portable ultrasounds in terms of doctor-patient interaction. Portable ultrasound may reduce some of the “mystique” of medicine.
You can talk with your patient directly, showing them right there and then what’s happening inside them, in language as plain as the image is clear. Your patient may well be more amenable to your recommendations and more trusting of the diagnosis when they can see the issue at hand.
Vave in particular can be used in one of four imaging presets, one of which is cardiovascular. You can manually adjust the image in terms of gain, depth, and focus to help you highlight and emphasize whatever you choose. When you’re done, the waterproof components of the device are easy to clean and sanitize for use on your next appointment.