Saturday, November 7, 2009

Clinical Innovation - Innovation at the Point of Care: Portable Untrasound

Donald Copeland, M.D.,a family physician in Cornelius, North Carolina, once suggested to me that a portable ultrasound machine in doctors’ offices would be a significant innovation in expanding the therapeutic and diagnostic reach of office based physicians.

Among other things, a portable office machine could be used to,

• To guide needle biopsies of breast, thyroid, and soft tissue masses

• To guide therapeutic injections , such as cortisone shots into joints, local anesthesia nerve blocks

• To guide lumbar punctures

• To check for deep vein thromboses, peripheral artery disease, coronary artery disease. abdominal aneurysms, and clogged carotids.

• To bypass the use of X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs in certain circumstances.

• And to do so in a cost effective manner without necessarily referring to specialists.

These are examples of the use of a commercially available technology for the purpose of “disruptive innovation,” providing convenient, less costly in a decentralized setting.

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