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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.