Called the Vscan, the future of ultrasound technology, as interpreted by General Electric, looks like a flip phone crossed with an iPod. GE CEO Jeff Immelt unveiled a handheld ultrasound machine at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco yesterday, saying it could become the “stethoscope of the 21st century.”
The device folds open clamshell-style to reveal a small screen on the top half and a circular button pad on the bottom. A small attached wand can be used to generate a noninvasive scan of a patient's organs or of a fetus.
The Vscan is aimed in part at primary care doctors who could use it instead of sending patients to get an ultrasound at a specialist's office. It could also be used by doctors in remote regions without access to hospital equipment. The device will be available sometime next year but will not have Wi-Fi access to wirelessly transmit ultrasound images.
The cost is yet to be determined.