What Are the Benefits of a Portable Ultrasound?

As the medical scene continues to innovate, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is quickly being recognized as a revolutionary emerging technology. The increasing popularity of POCUS can be attributed to its ability to improve clinical outcomes. For example, a 2020 study determined that the use of POCUS devices in an emergency setting can reduce or prevent morbidity or mortality by 45%.

Ultimately, the importance of POCUS technology lies in its ability to assist physicians in making critical judgment calls for their patient’s care. POCUS has one primary goal: help medical professionals do what they do best—save lives.

But what are the best use cases for portable ultrasounds? And what specific benefits do they bring to the table?

Portable Ultrasound Machine Benefits

POCUS technology has often been used as a solution to common disadvantages associated with traditional types of ultrasound machines. Here are a few examples of what POCUS has to offer:

  • Fast Diagnosis: Traditionally, physicians will often have to send a patient to another area of the hospital or to another hospital entirely to receive results from a stationary ultrasound machine. In emergency situations this might not even be possible, forcing medical practitioners to provide consultations without using ultrasound which can often result in less-targeted treatment. With a POCUS device, physicians are able to assess the patient at their bedside. This results in an immediate diagnosis sometimes and expedites the treatment process.
  • More Efficient Documentation: POCUS devices, when complemented with a simplified POCUS workflow, can streamline the diagnosis process by reproducing images on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. This quick, digital documentation allows physicians to securely and automatically store exam results, which comes in handy for multiple reasons, such as when trying to:
      1. Eliminate documentation errors, allowing for accurate billing.
      1. Provide an easily accessible record of treatment for other medical staff to refer to as the patient receives ongoing treatment.
  • Affordable Care: Standard ultrasound machine prices tend to range from $20,000 to $200,000, with newer models often priced even higher. The affordability of portable ultrasound machines makes it easier for physicians to purchase ultrasounds for their individual clinics or, in the case of hospitals, to purchase portable devices for each floor. In both cases, POCUS devices enable fast and convenient care for patients. In addition to being affordable for physicians and hospitals, the affordability of POCUS technology is also reflected in the patient’s bill. Since portable ultrasounds are much more affordable than stationary equipment, patients end up paying less for their treatment.
  • Greater Accessibility: 45% of Americans have no access to public transportation while 8.5% of Americans do not have a car. This makes getting to and from doctor appointments difficult for many patients, especially when poverty and medical deserts are taken into account. Many people cannot afford to take an Uber or taxi to the closest hospital or clinic. The portable aspect of POCUS devices allows medical professionals to take ultrasounds to marginalized communities—they can even be transported to a patient’s residence. This prevents patients from having to travel for multiple appointments, making it much easier to provide quality care for all.

What Are Portable Ultrasounds Used For?

As POCUS technology continues to improve, use cases for these devices become more expansive. Here are just a few examples of portable ultrasound uses:

  • Emergency rooms
  • Emergency triage situations
  • Rural hospitals that cannot afford more expensive machinery

Improving POCUS for Physicians

Although POCUS technology is not designed to replace traditional ultrasound methods, it can be used to better guide the management of patients in the emergency department, rural areas, and in other use cases where traditional technology is not efficient or effective. Since being deployed in the medical world, POCUS devices have proven their immense capability time and time again. At Exo, we believe that technology should empower physicians. And Exo Works™ was designed to do just that. It is an intelligent portable ultrasound workflow solution that lets you easily document exams in seconds, no matter where you are. Explore our website to discover how Exo Works can help you focus more time on saving lives.