In February the FDA approved a small handheld, mobile ultrasound system that will help to revolutionize healthcare. The MobiUS, developed by Mobisante, works with the computing power of a Microsoft-based smartphone linked to a handheld ultrasound scanning device. At once easy to use, carry, store, it may just be the most cost-effective ultrasound device every invented for medical care.
Mobisante, Inc., a privately held mobile health product and services company based in Seattle, has been working to make ultrasound imaging more affordable and available to both professionals and consumers. Their answer is MobiUS, which combines hardware, smartphones and cloud services. The system was impressive enough to win Best M-Health Innovation at the Annual Global Mobile Awards held earlier this year in Spain.
The Mobius system is estimated to initially cost $7,000-8,000 and will include a Toshiba TG01 Windows Mobile smartphone, ultrasound probe, and Mobisante’s proprietary software. The system can be used anywhere in the world, including remote villages and during disaster relief. The scanning system works like a full-scale ultrasound and will have the ability to do fetal ultrasounds, abdominal ultrasounds (including aorta, kidney, gall bladder, thyroid and soft tissue), and can be used in conjunction with medical procedures, such as biopsies and fluid drainage.
According to Xconomy|Seattle, a business and techonology news site, the “technology, while still in its infancy, moves the field one step closer to what academics have been dreaming for years—the ‘ultrasound stethoscope.’ The hope is that by putting the high-resolution diagnostic images of ultrasound in a super lightweight, convenient package, healthcare professionals will be able to detect and head off any number of ailments that would otherwise go unnoticed in a routine exam.”
For use in remote locations where healthcare facilities and expertise are scarce, the ultrasounds can be sent via the phone to a large-city medical center or specialist for reading and diagnosis. Ultimately, the system will be able to work with a wide variety of smartphones and tablets, instead of relying on the Toshiba TG01 phone, equipped with older Windows Mobile 6.5 software platform.
The next step is for Mobisante to establish manufacturing protocols for the new ultrasound imaging system that are consistent with FDA standards, and which will pass future FDA audits, according to Mobisante CEO Sailesh Chutani.
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