Ultrasound that fits in your pocket

The vScan, an ultrasound machine the size of a smartphone -- by General Electric

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: General Electric is out with a new gadget. As early as today, GE is expected to release vScan -- an ultralight, ultaportable machine that does ultrasounds. Marketplace's Jennifer Collins reports one of these machines may be coming to a doctor's office near you.


Jennifer Collins: For years, technicians have been wheeling around bulky machines to hear this sound:

[Sound of an ultrasound]

Now GE, Siemens and others are marketing sonogram devices that cost up to $10,000, but fit in your pocket.

Charlotte Henningsen: They're not much bigger than an iPhone.

Charlotte Henningsen represents sonographers. She says the machines could help relief workers like in Haiti and doctors in the emergency room.

Henningsen: They might have a patient who comes in and has a bounding abdomen and they might set that transducer down and see that there's a very large aneurysm.

The North American ultrasound market is worth more than a billion dollars a year. Market researcher Nadim Daher is with Frost & Sullivan:

Nadim Daher: The handheld unit is a totally new market and an opportunity to continue to grow.

But doctors say the tiny devices require training and still need a lot of fine-tuning.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

About the author

Jennifer Collins is a reporter for the Marketplace portfolio of programs. She is based in Los Angeles, where she covers media, retail, the entertainment industry and the West Coast.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...