Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Portable Ultrasound Fits in Your Pocket

That would be the tagline for this new product if one ever gets developed. If you could convert your smartphone into an ultrasound device, would you do it? Then you'd have a real medical smartphone! Go to Washington University and you'll see what I mean. These guys (William D. Richard, Ph.D., Washington University Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and David Zar, Washington University Research Associate in Computer Science and Engineering) have developed a USB-based ultrasound probe that plugs into smartphones. Now that most smartphones are going to have a universal micro-USB port, such a probe may actually be useful in the future because all the phones will have compatible connectors. Microsoft has funded research in this area. I wonder when Apple will start providing research grants in this area. Let's hope they don't change iPod/iPhone connectors if they build a probe that plugs into the bottom of the device.

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