Author predicts widespread acceptance of pocket-sized ultrasound machines

Nov 18, 2010

Since the Civil War, the stethoscope has been a standard tool of the trade for physicians. Soon, the average doctor may be toting another valuable diagnostic tool: a pocket-sized ultrasound machine.

Alexander B. Levitov, MD, a professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, believes that day is close. "I think in three to five years they will become commonplace," he predicts.

Dr. Levitov, a physician and expert in the use of ultrasound, is prepared for that eventuality. He is co-author of a new book that guides physicians in use of the ultrasound machine. Bedside Ultrasound in Clinical Medicine was published in partnership with the American College of Physicians.

"This is the first all-inclusive guide to the use of bedside ultrasound in clinical medicine," says Jerry Nadler, MD, professor and chair of internal medicine at EVMS. "It will be a great resource for our , residents and other faculty."

Ultrasound use traditionally has been limited to examination of the heart and monitoring fetal development. But the machines — which peer inside the body and instantly provide valuable information — can be used to examine the entire body, literally from head to toe. And as the size and price of ultrasound machines continues to shrink, more and more physicians are using the technology as part of their daily practice.

"The bedside ultrasound is increasingly becoming a clinical tool that allows the interaction between doctor and patient to become much more sophisticated," says Dr. Levitov.

The portability of the smaller machines makes them a "great equalizer" in the provision of care, he says. "They can be taken into less affluent communities and it allows the practitioner to make a diagnosis on the spot."

Dr. Levitov's book, which he illustrated himself, has won widespread interest. At least one school has adopted the book, and the publisher recently had it translated into Italian.

Learning how to use ultrasound, Dr. Levitov says, "will be the defining skill for the next generation of physicians."

Explore further: Young adults ages 18 to 26 should be viewed as separate subpopulation in policy and research

Provided by Eastern Virginia Medical School

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Independent safety investigation needed in the NHS

1 hour ago

The NHS should follow the lead of aviation and other safety-critical industries and establish an independent safety investigation agency, according to a paper published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The au ...

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

5 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.