Dr. Brian Driedger recently spoke with us about how he uses Clarius in his family medicine practice, which is focused on maternity and new born care. Dr. Driedger practices with a group of six physicians in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada where they manage about 100 deliveries a month. He went shopping for alternatives when he discovered a used laptop ultrasound system cost $20,000.
When did you start using ultrasound?
The first ultrasound machine we purchased for our office was over 20 years ago. It was a point-of-care system with a very small screen that we bought used. We paid $10,000 at the time. About 7 years later, we purchased a newer version of the same device, which we used until it quit on us last year.
What do you use ultrasound for?
The benefit to having the ultrasound in our office is for first and third trimester scanning. Most of the patients that are referred to us come at 8 weeks gestation based on their LMP, so having the bedside scan allows us to confirm viability, as well as to guide us for the timing of booking their formal scans. Also, when one of our patients has a first trimester bleed, we are able to get them in quickly, and are able to reassure them when we see the fetal heartbeat. We also use the ultrasound to confirm position of the baby in the third trimester. We do a quick scan on everyone at 36weeks to confirm cephalic or breech presentation. This is critical for delivery planning. As none of us are certified to perform diagnostic scans, we are careful to use it for screening purposes only, but depending on an individual’s skill levels, it can also be used to check amniotic fluid pockets, and to do some biometry measurements.
When did you start using Clarius?
Our previous ultrasound stopped working last summer, and the replacement estimates were between $20K to $30K. We had not budgeted to spend that much, so when we found out about Clarius, and its very reasonable price, the decision to purchase it was easy. Initially we had the older version, but now it has been upgraded to the latest model. The new transducer is lightweight and very easy to use. We use it with an iPad on a rolling stand.
Are you happy you chose Clarius?
It has been an excellent product for our application. It has more capability than we need, and the fact that it is so portable makes it very convenient to move around our office. The door frames of our exam rooms have been battered over the years from the old system we used to have to move from room to room on a big heavy stand. This unit is far more convenient.
What do you think of the image quality?
The image quality of the Clarius on our iPad is far superior to what we had before. It is easy to enlarge images to point things out to patients. The touch screen is fantastic and very intuitive. This is a great product.
Have you changed your workflow due to COVID-19?
In the era of Covid-19, we are mindful of infection control issues. We avoid doing unnecessary scans, which sometimes are requested by our patients. Our cleaning protocol involves wiping down the transducer with a CaviWipe between each scan. It is not difficult to do this as the surfaces are smooth and the transducer is small.
Where else do you think Clarius could be useful?
I would recommend this product to any primary maternity care provider, or group of providers, whether they be obstetricians, family physicians, or midwives. It is extremely convenient for office use, and will save unnecessary visits to the ultrasound department when the presentation of the fetus is in doubt. I could not imagine running our practice without this tool.
For more information visit our page on handheld ultrasound for OB/GYN.