Advancements in the field of ultrasound are reaching new heights with each passing day but, too many people do not have access to the benefits of medical ultrasound and are prone to unnecessary suffering from preventable, debilitating and often-times fatal diseases. This is true across the globe but is most keenly felt in remote and underdeveloped areas of Africa and Asia. In these regions, a lack of financing, infrastructure deficits and scarcity of trained medical staff prove critical impediments to the deployment of conventional ultrasound solutions. “Our research discovered that just one hospital in Boston has 122 trained sonographers, whilst the whole of Liberia in West Africa has only two. With an aim to democratize ultrasound accessibility, the foundation stone of Microsonix was laid,” says Stephen Garside, M.D. of Microsonix.
“At Microsonix, we’re focused towards enabling first responders and care givers save lives,” adds Garside. “We’re not just about making an intriguing tool but, living our ideals. Everyone should have access to the benefits offered by advances in medical technologies which in our case, means ultrasound technologies. With ultrasound, individuals wherever / whoever they are (emergency responders and care givers), can improve and save lives. Working closely with key NGOs, emergency and security services plus, regional community health initiatives, we can put ultrasound diagnostics into the hands of people who make the difference between life and death. We work with agencies such as the USFRA and EU-OSHA, NGOs like Ushahidi and Médecins Sans Frontières and of course, fire and emergency services, military and police.” SonoPen’s breakthrough capabilities come from the latest microchip technologies which the team have used to reduce the electronics required to reconstruct an ultrasound image into a single low power, low-cost chip, paired with an equally high precision single-chip ultrasound transmitter.
We envision a world where individuals regardless of their location can access the best-of-breed ultrasound systems for better health
Designed to work in extremely hostile environmental conditions, SonoPen is resistant to humidity and hot terrains generating ultrasound images suitable for low-resolution transmission. These images are transmitted to Microsonix’ Automated Virtual Assistant (AVA) app via a low-bandwidth wireless link for easy mobile access.
AVA employs an automated diagnostic extraction feature for viewing and analyzing ultrasound images sent by the SonoPen. The application is specifically built to assist care-givers in capturing and interpreting images, paving the way for early detection of diseases. First responders will be able to operate in challenging environmental conditions, without requiring the conventional high-power setup and skilled Sonographers.
Microsonix captures, governs, and applies intelligence on the data that it gathers from patient examinations. This data helps to train care givers, provide early patient diagnosis, revise research programs, develop pharmaceutical products, and demonstrates the outcome of deploying ultrasound systems in different regions of the world.
Lauded by many well-known government agencies, universities, and organizations across UK, Microsonix is focused on improving its offerings to suit the needs of patients. Team Microsonix is leaving no stone unturned to enhance AVA’s modularity and reduce SonoPen’s manufacturing costs. The company is also looking toward developing the scanner into a swallowable pill. These pills can generate ultrasound images inside the patient’s body for better analysis. Also, the company is aiming at implementing blockchain technologies to equip patients with complete control of their personal health records. With the backing of the right manufacturing partner and technical alliances, the company foresees a future where further enhancements can be added whilst reducing the manufacturing cost by up to 50 percent.