Ultrasound technology isn't anything new – doctors have been using it to examine babies in utero and treat soft tissue injuries for years now. However, new technology is enabling medical professionals to use ultrasounds in new and exciting ways. Thanks to advances in the way that ultrasounds are used, patients may soon get better emergency care treatment, their bones may heal faster after a break, and their doctors may be able to get a better look inside their heads without resorting to invasive surgery. Take a look at a few of the changes that are improving the speed and quality of your healthcare.
Ultrasounds Can Speed Emergency Treatments
In an emergency, every second counts. The faster you get to the hospital and the sooner you receive the correct treatment, the better your chances of a full recovery. Can you imagine how much it would help if the emergency room staff could know exactly what they were dealing with before the ambulance pulled up at the hospital?
Thanks to a tablet ultrasound system, you may not have to just imagine it. This technology allows EMTs to take ultrasound images and send them wirelessly to the hospital, giving staff members a clear picture of what the patient is going to need once the ambulance reaches the hospital. With that information, doctors and nurses can assess the patient's condition and round up the equipment, drugs, and space they need and be ready to treat as soon as the patient arrives, with no time lost between the exit from the ambulance and the beginning of the treatment. Also, after viewing the images, doctors can relay potentially lifesaving instructions to the EMTs while the patient is still in the ambulance. If you're ever in need of fast treatment, this new ultrasound technology could save your life.
Ultrasounds Can Heal Bones
Therapeutic ultrasound is commonly used in sports medicine, and the ability of ultrasound to help treat injuries is well known. However, ultrasound is rarely used on broken bones, because the necessary plaster cast gets in the way – the ultrasound device has to be placed directly on the skin to work. 3D printing offers a new answer to patients who would benefit from therapeutic ultrasound on their bones.
The invention is a 3D printed cast made of plastic. If you've ever experienced the discomfort of a heavy, itchy, plaster cast, you'll understand why smooth plastic is such an improvement. In addition to being lighter and more comfortable than plaster, the gaps in the plastic that expose the skin make it possible to attach ultrasound leads directly to your skin. This way, you can benefit from low intensity pulsed ultrasound treatment while the broken limb remains supported by a cast. This could speed the healing of broken bones by as much as 40%.
New Ultrasound Techniques Can See Through Your Skull
Until recently, ultrasound technology hasn't been very effective in allowing doctors to see what's going on in the brain. This is because the skull bone distorts the images. But researchers from North Carolina State University say that they've come up with a new technique for using ultrasound imaging that offsets the distortion, allowing doctors to see through the bone. This gives doctors a new, non-invasive way to see inside your brain.
Not only does this improve the ultrasound's value as a diagnostic tool, it also opens the door for new therapeutic uses. For example, the ultrasound rays could be used to treat brain tumors by burning them with ultrasonic rays, which could eliminate the need for risky brain surgery. This technique also has industrial applications, in addition to its medical applications. Researchers say that it could be used to detect cracks in an airplane's wing that are hidden underneath metal. Whether industrial or medical, this new ultrasound technique is making your life safer.
These new advances and techniques are still in their infancy, but ultrasound is already a useful healthcare tool. If you have a muscle or bone injury, ask your doctor if ultrasound therapy at a place like EVDI Medical Imaging could be right for you.