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Low-Cost USB-based Ultrasound Probes - improving care for pregnant women in villages

Posted Oct 13 2009 10:01pm
Low-Cost USB-based Ultrasound Probes- improving care for pregnant women in villages: " We have developed a series of low-cost, Universal Serial Bus (USB)-based ultrasound probes that are FDA approved and CE Marking approved. These probes attach to any Windows XP/Vista computer or even a Windows Mobile cell phone. With a small piece of software, that device turns into a fully-functional diagnostic ultrasound machine. We provide a Software Development Kit (SDK) for Original Equipment Manufactures (OEMs) to use so they can build custom applications around the USB probes. We also supply an application that allows basic diagnostic imaging as well as saving of data for later playback and analysis. As the computers or cell phones may be part of a larger network, these data may be transmitted to specialists many miles, or even continents, away. In this way, even minimally-trained technicians may be able to provide medical imaging to remote populations while the specialists can view the data without having to travel to each location. Current probes cost as little as $2000 each, but we are actively working on ways to drive that cost to well below $1000 in the next year or two. Even at $2000 each, combined with a $399 laptop, these systems can replace current portable ultrasound systems costing well over $25,000, and our system is easier to use, lower power, and programmable due to the availability of the SDK for OEMs. A current deployment in Africa has shown this probe to be quite capable at providing medical imaging to people that never had access to it, before."

Clever idea like this , which piggyback on easily available inexpensive PCs and smartphones , can help to change the way medical care is delivered all over the world ! If Mohammed won't go to the mountain, then the mountain will come to Mohammed ! Ultrasound scans are now routinely performed for pregnant women. Innovations like this will help to improve the medical care for pregnant women in villages , so that they have access to technology which is available only in cities at present.
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