DETROIT, July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Using medical diagnostic technology developed by GE Healthcare and educational techniques developed by NASA and Henry Ford Hospital, Wayne State University School of Medicine and Henry Ford have partnered to train medical students on the use of portable ultrasound equipment. GE Healthcare has provided 30 of the lightweight ultrasound devices -- the size of a computer laptop -- for students to learn how to diagnose a wide range of ailments and Henry Ford coordinates the training. "We see this form of ultrasound as an important tool to help state-of-the- art medicine grow," said Robert Frank, M.D., executive vice dean of Wayne State's medical school. "It is an empowering technology that will provide care to underserved areas -- urban and rural -- by putting ultrasound in the hands of all physicians." "This portable ultrasound project is an innovation of technology and partnership between organizations," he adds. As one of the first medical schools in the country to explore this new technology, Wayne State hopes to further integrate the devices into the curriculum, using the medical school class that began last year as the pilot study group. The students familiarized themselves with the portable ultrasound machines during twelve training sessions. Now, as second-year students, they will continue to work with the devices in classes such as patho-physiology. When these students reach their 3rd and 4th years they will see patients on a regular basis. At that point in their education, it is anticipated that they will begin to use the lightweight ultrasound devices in clinical practice and utilize the devices to their full potential. In a survey of the 112 first-year medical students, more than 82 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their educational experience with the lightweight ultrasound technology education was positive. In addition, more than 90 percent of the students agreed or strongly agreed that they would benefit from continuation of this education throughout their four year medical school curriculum. Medical students participating in the pilot study also helped GE Healthcare to determine how medical students learn, to gather data from the "new ultrasound user" in order to improve the design of the ultrasound equipment, and to determine whether the use of the ultrasound device during medical training will have beneficial effects on medical training itself. "With the rapid pace of clinical discovery and technological advancement, these medical students will have access to more new technologies and treatment options in their first year of practice. They have just begun an amazing four- year journey that will shape the future of healthcare, and we're thrilled to be part of it," said Dr. Bob Honigberg, GE Healthcare's Chief Medical Officer. "Technologies such as ultrasound can be used to help detect diseases earlier, when they can be more effectively treated. These pilot studies may provide support for more primary care physicians to utilize miniaturized ultrasound technology." Ultrasound is a fast and safe technique that uses sound waves to gain information about medical conditions ranging from gallbladder disease to kidney stones to muscular and skeletal problems. "Ultrasound is a medical imaging procedure that has usually been confined to hospital or physicians' offices," said Scott Dulchavsky, M.D., Ph.D., surgeon in chief at Henry Ford Hospital and principal investigator for Advanced Ultrasound for NASA. "In recent years, the technology has become miniaturized to the extent that diagnosis of human ailments can be performed remotely and transmitted to a radiologist for interpretation. "This is another step taking medical equipment typically stationed in a hospital or physician's office - and making it available to patients anywhere," he says. About Henry Ford Health System Henry Ford Health System, one of the country's largest health care systems, integrates primary and specialty care with research and education. It includes the 1000-member Henry Ford Medical Group, six owned hospitals, the 572,000-member Health Alliance Plan, 25 primary care centers and many other health-related entities located throughout southeastern Michigan. Website: henryford.com About Wayne State University School of Medicine With more than 1,000 students, the Wayne State University School of Medicine is the nation's largest single campus medical school. Together with the Wayne State University Physician Group and its educational affiliates, including the Henry Ford Health System and other area health-care providers, the school is a leader in medical research and patient care with emphases on cancer; maternal-child health; neurosciences; and population studies and urban health. Website: www.med.wayne.edu About GE Healthcare GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to the fullest. GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre- symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com. Dwight Angell (313) 850-3471 (cell) email@example.com Fact Sheet: Portable Ultrasound, NASA and Henry Ford Hospital - Henry Ford Hospital has partnered with NASA and the United States Olympic Committee on the use of portable ultrasound. - "Ultrasound is a medical imaging procedure that has usually been confined to hospital or physicians' offices," said Scott Dulchavsky, M.D., Ph.D., chair of surgery at Henry Ford Hospital and principal investigator for Advanced Ultrasound for NASA. "In recent years, the technology has become miniaturized to the extent that diagnosis of human ailments can be performed remotely and transmitted to a radiologist for interpretation." - Dr. Dulchavsky is team leader for NASA for advanced ultrasound on the International Space Station for NASA, developing techniques to diagnose and treat sick or injured astronauts. His team developed a training program that teaches crew members how to use ultrasound to diagnose a wide variety of medical conditions injury. The ultrasound images are transmitted by satellite to the ground where experts help the remote crewmembers to diagnose medical conditions. He has also modified these techniques for use back on the Earth for professional sporting teams, the Winter Olympic Games, and is working with the United Nations to use these advances to help with medical care worldwide. - The procedure got a test run with the Detroit Red Wings in 2004 when a portable ultrasound device was placed in the team's locker room and was connected through the internet to a computer at Henry Ford Hospital. While viewing the images online at the hospital, a radiologist guided the trainers as they performed ultrasound tests on players. When a player was injured during a game, a quick diagnosis could be made in the locker room. - Qualified team trainers were taught how to use the ultrasound device using the NASA training methods. Currently portable ultrasound devices are also located and being used by qualified team trainers for the Detroit Lions and Tigers, and the United States Olympic Committee. - Rapid, point of care diagnosis during an athletic event is only one of the potential benefits of the new ultrasound technology. Dr. Dulchavsky is investigating video streaming technology, which could extend use of this technology to ambulances, and accident scenes, homebound patients as well as remote areas, including military locations and the underserved. - The ultrasound images can be transmitted by satellite, the Internet or a phone line to experts, who can read them and help make an immediate diagnosis. - Researchers from Henry Ford also worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee at the 2006 Winter Olympic games in Italy for portable ultrasound.
SOURCE Henry Ford Hospital