Unpacking Exo’s Survey Results: The Value of Handheld Devices

Exo Iris is the new age of ultrasound, a handheld device unlike any other.

Many people living in rural America are often miles away from major healthcare systems. Due to the challenges presented by commuting long distances and limited access to healthcare, these individuals experience greater difficulty in pursuing an ultrasound compared to those in urban communities. The burgeoning category of handheld devices in the point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) industry could revolutionize how medical imaging is conducted and accessed by under-resourced groups, such as those in impoverished or rural areas. The value of handheld POCUS extends beyond delivering medical answers to caregivers who may not always be able to use ultrasounds. Handheld devices can also democratize ultrasounds in communities that often don’t have access to medical imaging.

Exo conducted a recent survey study of more than 150 U.S.-based hospitalists, critical care physicians, emergency medicine physicians, and primary care physicians to gain a better understanding of POCUS use today and the impact of handheld devices on growing POCUS adoption.

Exo’s Survey Findings

Exo survey results unearthed a bounty of interesting insights, a full report of which can be found here. Among the results, the survey found the following about handheld ultrasound.

  • 83% of respondents cited access to imaging in rural areas as a key issue handheld POCUS can help solve
  • 80% of respondents cited portability as the top feature of a handheld POCUS device compared to cart-based POCUS
  • 72% of respondents said handheld POCUS can increase care access in underserved populations

Handheld POCUS could be the solution to portability, ease-of-use and affordability challenges that have historically held back ultrasound from wider adoption. It could be the realization of what POCUS has promised since its inception: greater access to healthcare for all.

Respondents cited expanded reimbursement (64%) and reasonable cost of ownership (56%) as the two biggest factors that are likely to boost handheld POCUS adoption within the common medical practice, which points to these two areas for improvement and attention.

The Future of Medical Imaging

It’s not just those who already leverage handheld POCUS in their practice who see the value of these devices. Respondents noted that they see the technology as a way to grow their clinical offerings and expand their current programs. Still, there are caregivers who feel skeptical about the handheld POCUS devices that have been on the market in the last decade, which the full report details.

As new, more modern handheld ultrasound devices come to market, many caregivers may experience significantly lower costs compared to cart-based systems, improved IT connectivity and enhanced ease of use, which could whet the appetite for a switch to handheld over another cart-based or compact-based POCUS purchase. For handheld manufacturers to make this case, they need to solve the top issues currently inhibiting handheld adoption, such as IT connectivity challenges, poor image quality and device training.

When asked what the respondents who used handheld POCUS would like to share with their colleagues about its adoption into their clinical workflow, the responses varied from emphasizing its ease of use to the improved caregiver-patient relationship they experienced.

Exo’s Imaging Ecosystem: Enabling Handheld Adoption

Exo is proud to address many of the pain points respondents voiced in the survey with our industry-first medical imaging ecosystem that wraps together handheld ultrasound scanning, POCUS workflow software, and artificial intelligence for imaging answers to accelerate diagnosis and treatment.

  • Retrieve quick, accurate, and affordable imaging in any setting with Exo Iris™
  • Spend less time on administrative work and more time on delivering care with Exo Works™
  • Easily acquire consistent and accurate images with real-time AI

Learn more about Exo’s ecosystem here.