Among the most powerful tools that enable modern day healthcare delivery are advanced imaging techniques. Often, these tools are used to validate physical exams, visualize internal anatomy, or triangulate pathology based on subjective symptoms.
A recently published study in the journal Healthcare found that in the last decade alone, the rates of CT and ultrasound examinations have nearly doubled, indicating a growing trend in the use of imaging in healthcare delivery. There are many potential reasons for this, including the fact that medical imaging techniques have become incredibly advanced, meaning that clinicians can use these tools to determine the exact problem and navigate treatment swiftly. Accordingly, there is a significant amount of investment and growing interest in making these tools intelligent, easy to use, and more accessible.
Organizations are quickly embracing this call-to-action. Last week, devices and services giant GE, which has a prominent footprint in healthcare, announced that it was awarded a $44 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to develop AI assisted ultrasound technology. The press release discusses how one of the primary goals behind this initiative is to create a more user-friendly interface that will enable clinicians to better support a wide variety of healthcare screening techniques, with a specific eye to improving healthcare outcomes and access in low to middle income countries.
Roland Rott, President and CEO of Ultrasound at GE Healthcare, explains that although ultrasound technology is an incredibly powerful tool for screening and diagnostics in the field, “a key limitation is the guidance of lesser-skilled users to effectively apply affordable point-of-care ultrasound in their care environment.” The hope behind this grant will be to help bridge this gap and guide users to capture better images and diagnostic information with the device. Forbes