10.02.2015 | Review Article
Out of hospital point of care ultrasound: current use models and future directions
B. P. Nelson, A. Sanghvi
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
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Ultrasound has evolved from a modality that was once exclusively reserved to certain specialities of its current state, in which its portability and durability lend to its broadly increasing applications.
This review describes portable ultrasound in the hospital setting and its comparison to gold standard imaging modalities. Also, this review summarizes current literature describing portable ultrasound use in prehospital, austere and remote environments, highlighting successes and barriers to use in these environments.
Prehospital ultrasound has the ability to increase diagnostic ability and allow for therapeutic intervention in the field. In austere environments, ultrasound may be the only available imaging modality and thus can guide diagnosis, therapeutics and determine which patients may need emergent transfer to a healthcare facility. The most cutting edge applications of portable ultrasound employ telemedicine to obtain and transmit ultrasound images. This technology and ability to transmit images via satellite and cellular transmission can allow for even novice users to obtain interpretable images in austere environments. Portable ultrasound uses have steadily grown and will continue to do so with the introduction of more portable and durable technologies. As applications continue to grow, certain technologic considerations and future directions are explored.