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Mobile ultrasound scanner joins ecosystem of connected health devices

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As mobile devices in healthcare proliferate, clinicians are using mobile diagnostic tools, like hand-held ultrasound scanners, to provide care outside of traditional hospital settings.

The mobile ultrasound scanner is part of a wave of connected health and diagnostic devices that are bringing care to new settings and in dramatically more compact form factors.

"Digital healthcare devices, connected devices, really have an opportunity to transform healthcare," Randy Hamlin, vice president and point of care segment leader at Philips Healthcare, tells SearchHealthIT in this podcast recorded at Connected Health Symposium 2016.

Patient care is moving outside the hospital walls to lower cost environments.
Randy Hamlinvice president at Philips Healthcare

Philips' mobile ultrasound scanner, Lumify, is among the best known of these new diagnostic tools, and it joins the Dutch tech and consumer giant's family of digital health devices, which includes fall detection sensors and remote patient monitoring gear.

The mobile ultrasound scanner, less than a year after receiving FDA approval, is being used by emergency room physicians, rural doctors and even sports organizations for instant, on-field diagnoses.

While not expected to replace far bulkier, cart-based ultrasound machines or to take on full scale, early prenatal exams anytime soon, the smartphone app-based and tethered mobile ultrasound scanner is bringing unprecedented convenience to physicians.

Philips Lumify mobile ultrasound scanner held by Randy Hamlin, vice president, point of care segment leader, Philips Healthcare.
Hamlin is holding the Philips Lumify mobile ultrasound scanner.

Hamlin, who runs the Lumify division at Philips, is also an evangelist for mobile digital health devices in general.

The devices, whether diagnostic, like the mobile ultrasound scanner, or medical grade and hardened consumer-grade wearables, which transmit, sometimes in real time, health metrics to care teams, are helping to bring care to patients wherever they are, Hamlin says.

"Patient care is moving outside the hospital walls to lower cost environments," he says in the podcast.

In addition to lower healthcare costs, the other key drivers in the rapid development of digital healthcare device technology are improving patient satisfaction and care quality, Hamlin says.

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