The Final Battle – Portable Ultrasound Devices

So we tried them, we tested them, and we ran around the world with them! So which was the overall winner?

Below you will find a summary of all of the reviews, then the winning device. If you click each image, you can go off to read the individual reviews. My presentation from the Critical Care Symposium Manchester meeting can be downloaded at the end too….

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We all had an amazing time there, listening to friends and colleagues deliver some breathtaking talks! We also enjoyed helping you guys pick up top tips and tricks in ultrasound. Well done to the amazing Veerappan and team for another excellent conference.

Remember, the results are a summation of various clinicians, all experts in POCUS. The views are in no way swayed by conflict of interest…..onto the results!

 

A thank you!

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(Clockwise from top left) – Rob Greig, Aidan Baron, Dave Popple, Cian MacDermott and Yale Tung Chen, all reviewed devices for the series

 

The Battle!

 

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Brief 

A wireless device, which came with 2 probes. Tablet connected. Refresh rate slow, image quality grainy and linking / de-linking the probes to switch scan modalities was a hassle! Also, expensive! Our mark – 5/10

Swifty – “Sluggish and wireless…didn’t make scanning tireless!”

 

 

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Brief

2 guises, the DP and Extend. Both have a dual probe, wired interface. The device is small, portable and quick. Battery scan time is good and a great image can be produced. The Extend offers a variety of app’s to expand your scan analysis potential. The winning combo comes with the 2 built in probes (Phased array and linear) and the price! Happy in the block room, resus, on the wards and on ITU equally, making it a workhorse! A small downside…the touchscreen can occasionally be annoying to clean and finer movements with gloved hands can feel a little awkward to start off. Our Mark – 9/10

Swifty – “A go-to, minimal hassle, cost effective ultrasound workhorse”

 

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Brief

A wireless device, linking to an iOS based tablet. Large and rather cumbersome probes which get hot! We could not get decent images with the probe we were sent (curvilinear), and it is very awkward to manoeuvre into position. The refresh rate of the wireless system was glitchy at times and linking / delinking is a hassle. Again, there is a significant cost to these, as you would need both the large curvilinear and the phased array to complete the scan armoury. Portability therefore suffers, along with image quality. Our Mark – 4.5/10

Swifty – “Costly and bulky, lacking the image quality you might expect from a large, wireless probe”

 

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Brief

A wired device with a medium sized, dedicated screen. Gets a little hot, and you have to change batteries rather regularly. But, that said, great user interface, a selection of modalities including M-mode, measurements etc. and great image quality. The only drawback, aside from the points mentioned, is the price! Such a shame, as this would climb higher in the table! Our Mark – 8.5/10

Swifty – “If you have the money, a ballistically tested, robust device with flare and image quality”

 

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Brief

The most anticipated probe of the year! Just 1, yes 1 probe that promises all. It delivers too! The cardiac was a little grainy in places for the reviewers, but the multitude of functional modes (M-mode, advanced measurement, volume calculation, sharing potential), was vast! The other views were all pretty decent and it plugs straight into your iOS device, providing the killer tool for portability with the ultimate in user interface! The company evolve as we feedback, are very approachable and version 2 ships soon to the UK and other places, having received final CE approval! Wow! Our mark – 8/10 for V1, (We feel this could be a winner overall with the release ov V2)

Swifty – “The magic wand of the ultrasound portables! It’s secret recipes could clinch the deal on the best portable when the version 2 wizard hits our pockets!”

 

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Brief

If you have the cash to splash, this is the image quality winner! Crisp and easy to acquire! The interface is via android devices and it’s wired. There are multiple probes to choose from, each having tone swapped in and out….and the blow…£9000 each. It is such a shame this price causes a downgrade, but this is reality. The interface is brilliant, as is the ability to show scans to others across the globe with Reacts! Our mark – 8.5/10

Swifty – “Image quality winner, shame about the price!”

 

The overall table!

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The Winner is….

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The presentation!

Click here to download!

 

So, there we have it! Well done to GE and the Vscan.

Watch out though….Butterfly are right on their tail and are looking like the strongest contender to potentially steal the trophy! We eagerly await their Version 2.

JW

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