It’s no surprise that as an emergency physician and Chairman of the Clarius Medical Advisory Board, Dr. Oron Frenkel believes it’s high time to replace the stethoscope with point of care ultrasound (POCUS).
We recently interviewed Dr. Frenkel to learn why he’s such a strong advocate for spreading the use of ultrasound in medicine.
Watch the video to hear more from Dr. Frenkel or read his interview below:
Why do you feel POCUS is so important to improving patient care?
“Point-of-care ultrasound is really an amazing tool that brings diagnostic imaging into the hands of physicians. In some settings, emergency physicians are in critical need of rapid identification of pathologies at the bedside. There’s never been a better tool that’s come along to really enable physicians to make those diagnoses right away, even while seeing their patient for the first time.”
What are the applications of ultrasound beyond urgent care?
“I think the applications for point-of-care ultrasound are just exploding. It perhaps started with emergency medicine and critical care where rapid-fire decisions were needed. More and more, the tool is being utilized and developed to really spread into other avenues of clinical care.”
“I think physicians are hungry for more rapid answers and more definitive clarity on the pathologies that their patients present with. Point-of-care ultrasound is the most disruptive technology to the clinical encounter since the stethoscope and the stethoscope was invented 200 years ago. So here we have a tool in the hands of physicians that can be used essentially in any clinical context or any clinical outlet where they can rapidly diagnose many conditions at the bedside.”
How are app-based ultrasound systems like Clarius breaking barriers to POCUS adoption?
“Having an intuitive user interface really helps drop the barrier to ultrasound usage. Being able to just tap a couple quick elements on the app to generate high-quality images. It’s a real game changer for new users to point-of-care ultrasound compared to our traditional carts, which have a lot of buttons and knobs that could be really intimidating to a lot of novice users.”
How important is high definition imaging at the point-of-care?
“I think clarity at the point of care is very important. Getting really high-quality images is critical to making a rapid diagnosis and feeling confident in my assessment of what a patient’s clinical condition is.”
What’s the role of handheld ultrasound for COVID-19?
“Data from a lot of the recent hot spots of COVID outbreaks really suggests a high utility of using point of care ultrasound for triaging COVID patients. While the findings of COVID disease in the lungs may not be specific, we can certainly identify patients very rapidly and we think in some cases more accurately than using the nasal swabs that are the current gold standard of care. Being able to enable that, and integrate it into triage strategies, is a real boon.”
“In places where there is high prevalence of the disease, rapidly identifying who’s at higher risk and who’s at lower risk of the disease and complications really reduces the risk of transmission both to other patients and to other healthcare providers. People can make a diagnosis or at least an assessment of risk at the bedside immediately at the point of care and they’re easy to clean. These wireless handheld devices really enable using the same device over and over again. So, you evaluate up to thousands of patients potentially by a single operator. It’s really a different mode of thinking on how we do diagnostics as opposed to single swabs per patient.”