I so many ways it is pretty neat how much of the science fiction from shows like Start Trek are finding modern day implementations. It’s fairly easy to see the similarities between our cellphones and Star Trek’s communicator but now it looks like we might be on the path to a modern medical tricorder.
It still might be limited to doing only ultrasound scans but there is no denying the fact that GE’s Vscan is some pretty cool technology and surely is only a harbinger of things to come. In an interview at the Web 2.0 summit GE CEO Jeff Immelt showed off this technological wonder that has the same power as a console based ultrasound machine from about two to three years ago and would have cost $250,000 to buy.
They might not have announced a price for this Blackberry sized ultrasound scanner but that didn’t stop Immelt from waxing poetically about the potential.
The price of the device was not revealed, but Immelt asked the audience to imagine these devices going to Africa and helping health care providers there determine “if a baby is breech,” for example. “This could be the stethoscope of the 21st century,” he said.
Immelt also gave a demo of an enhanced online medical records system, in which patient data is combined with clinical outcome data and research to help caregivers apply effective and current treatments to patients. Medical records, he said, don’t win only because they give patients portable electronic files, but rather, “it’s about making better clinical decisions faster.”
Here’s a video of the Vscan in action
image credit: cnet News – Rafe Needleman