Henry Ford Hospital and Wayne State University School of Medicine Partner on Use of Innovative Medical Technology

Jul 12, 2007, 01:00 ET from Henry Ford Hospital

    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
     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)
         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
     - 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
     - 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
     - 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