How Portable Ultrasounds Can Enhance Your Practice with Networking, DICOM, EMR, and PACS
Portable ultrasounds are becoming more popular among healthcare professionals who need to perform diagnostic imaging in various settings. Portable ultrasounds are compact, lightweight, and battery-powered devices that can produce high-quality images of various organs and tissues. They can also connect to other systems and devices through networking, DICOM, EMR, and PACS. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of each of these features and give examples of portable ultrasound models that use them.
Networking is the ability of a portable ultrasound to communicate with other devices or systems through a wired or wireless connection. Networking can enable the portable ultrasound to:
- Transfer images and data to a computer, tablet, smartphone, or printer
- Share images and data with other healthcare professionals or patients via email, cloud, or social media
- Access online resources such as databases, guidelines, or educational materials
- Update software or firmware remotely
Some of the benefits of networking are:
- Increased convenience and efficiency: Networking can save time and effort by eliminating the need for physical media such as USB drives or CDs. It can also enable faster and easier image review and reporting.
- Improved collaboration and communication: Networking can facilitate the exchange of information and opinions among different healthcare professionals or patients. It can also enhance patient education and engagement by allowing them to view and share their images.
- Enhanced learning and innovation: Networking can provide access to a wealth of online resources that can help healthcare professionals improve their skills and knowledge. It can also enable them to explore new applications and possibilities of portable ultrasound.
An example of a portable ultrasound model that uses networking is the Mindray MX7. The Mindray MX7 is a premium portable ultrasound that features advanced technologies to boost cardiac image optimization. It also supports various networking options such as Wi-Fi and Ethernet. The Minday MX7 ultrasound can connect to the Mindray Cloud platform, which allows users to store, manage, and share images and data online.
A Mindray MX7 ultrasound shown in an exam room.
DICOM stands for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. DICOM is an international standard language that medical communities use to protect medical images and patient information in a system where only parties with sufficient permission can view and edit. DICOM can enable the portable ultrasound to:
- Store images and data in a standardized format that can be recognized and processed by other DICOM-compatible devices or systems
- Transmit images and data to other DICOM-compatible devices or systems such as PACS, RIS, or EMR
- Receive images and data from other DICOM-compatible devices or systems such as modalities, workstations, or servers
- Query and retrieve images and data from other DICOM-compatible devices or systems based on certain criteria such as patient ID, study date, or modality
Some of the benefits of DICOM are:
- Improved compatibility and interoperability: DICOM can ensure that images and data can be exchanged and integrated among different devices or systems without losing quality or information. It can also avoid the need for proprietary formats or converters that may cause errors or incompatibilities.
- Enhanced security and privacy: DICOM can protect images and data from unauthorized access or modification by using encryption, authentication, and authorization. It can also comply with regulations such as HIPAA or GDPR that require the protection of patient information.
- Increased efficiency and quality: DICOM can enable faster and easier image transfer and retrieval by using compression, streaming, and caching. It can also enable better image analysis and diagnosis by using metadata, annotations, and measurements.
An example of a portable ultrasound model that uses DICOM is the Mindray TE5. The Minday TE5 is a tablet style ultrasound with a large, portrait-oriented touch screen. The TE5 ultrasound can connect to the Mindray Cloud platform, which allows users to store, manage, and share images and data online.
A Mindray TE5 ultrasound shown in an operating room.
EMR stands for Electronic Medical Record. EMR is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart that contains all the medical and treatment history of a patient within a healthcare provider’s practice. EMR can enable the portable ultrasound to:
- Access patient information such as demographics, medical history, allergies, medications, or lab results
- Record patient information such as vital signs, symptoms, diagnosis, or treatment
- Generate patient reports such as ultrasound findings, measurements, or recommendations
- Integrate patient information with other devices or systems such as modalities, PACS, or RIS
Some of the benefits of EMR are:
- Reduced errors and risks: EMR can eliminate the problems of illegible handwriting, misplaced files, or duplicated records that may cause errors or confusion. It can also alert healthcare professionals of potential issues such as drug interactions, allergies, or abnormal results.
- Improved quality and safety: EMR can provide accurate and complete information that can help healthcare professionals make better decisions and provide better care. It can also enable evidence-based practice, clinical guidelines, and quality improvement initiatives.
- Increased productivity and profitability: EMR can save time and money by reducing paperwork, storage, and transcription. It can also enable faster billing, reimbursement, and auditing.
An example of a portable ultrasound model that uses EMR is the Mindray DP-30. The DP-30 is an entry-level portable ultrasound that can connect to the Mindray Cloud platform which allows users to access, record, and share patient information and ultrasound images and data.
A Mindray DP-30 ultrasound shown on an optional cart.
PACS stands for Picture Archiving and Communication System. PACS is a secure medical image storage system that also features advanced options and powerful tools to manipulate images for annotations. PACS can enable the portable ultrasound to:
- Archive images and data in a centralized or distributed server that can be accessed and managed by authorized users
- Communicate images and data to other devices or systems such as modalities, workstations, or EMR
- View images and data on a workstation or monitor that can display high-resolution and multi-modality images
- Manipulate images and data on a workstation or monitor that can provide functions such as zoom, pan, rotate, measure, or annotate
Some of the benefits of PACS are:
- Increased integration and standardization: PACS can enable the consolidation and organization of images and data from different sources and modalities. It can also enable compliance with standards such as DICOM, HL7, or IHE.
- Increased efficiency and quality: PACS can enable faster and easier image access and management by using indexing, searching, and sorting. It can also enable better image visualization and interpretation by using tools such as windowing, leveling, or color mapping.
- Reduced costs and space: PACS can eliminate the need for physical film, reducing the cost of film, storage, and maintenance. It can also reduce the need for film transport, printing, or duplication.
An example of a portable ultrasound model that uses PACS is the Sonosite Edge II. The Sonosite Edge II is a rugged and reliable portable ultrasound that features a large display, a sealed keyboard, and a fast boot-up time. It also supports PACS connectivity through the Sonosite Synchronicity software, which allows users to archive, communicate, view, and manipulate images and data on a PACS server or workstation.
A Sonosite Edge II ultrasound shown folded for easy transportation.
Contact UDS Today and Learn More
If you are interested in purchasing an ultrasound that has PAC, Networking and DICOM capabilities, get in touch with Universal Diagnostic Solutions. We can assist you in setting up a system that uses these technologies and also offer you a personalized quote to buy an ultrasound that suits your budget.