Utrecht, April 13, 2015
For the first time, GPs can now perform diagnostic tests in the convenience of their office or their patient's home using the VISIQ handheld ultrasound system
GPs can now fit a fully-fledged ultrasound system into their doctor's bag alongside their stethoscope and take it with them when visiting a patient for an examination requiring medical imaging. Philips and Medisch Service Nederland (MSN)—part of Mediq—today announced that they are the first companies to launch a tablet ultrasound system on the Dutch market. This is a small, flat and therefore extremely portable device that provides high-quality medical images, enabling GPs to perform diagnostic scans in their practice as well as on location and thus provide patients with more targeted treatment or refer them to a specialist.
GPs can use the tablet ultrasound system to examine their patient's abdominal area, enabling them to establish whether the patient's abdominal discomfort is for example due to kidney stones, gallstones or liver abnormalities, or rule these out and reassure them that it is nothing serious. GPs and midwives—who will also be able to access the system—can also use the tablet to perform scans during pregnancy. People will soon be able to have routine investigations close to home and the system can also be taken on home visits to people with mobility problems, such as elderly.
Henna Tuinfort from Almere is the first GP in the Netherlands to use the system in her practice: "I can now go one step further in investigating symptoms. This allows me to give better advice and often reassure patients, but also to make more targeted referrals when necessary. In addition, the feedback I have received from my patients is that they are pleased they can now have an ultrasound examination quickly, close to home, at their own GP’s office should they require one."
The quality, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of ultrasound technology have increased considerably in recent years. As a result, ultrasounds are performed more frequently and in more locations, including outside of the hospital. The number of GPs wanting to use ultrasound technology in their own practice is also on the rise now that they play an increasingly prominent role as primary care providers. Philips and MSN are responding to this need by introducing the VISIQ.
The VISIQ combines the rapid developments in the field of miniaturization, chip technology and computing power with the 30 years of experience that Philips possesses in ultrasound technology. The handheld ultrasound system is able to take very high-quality images for a very accessible price. While conventional systems are anything but compact, the VISIQ system consists simply of a tablet and a transducer. The system is operated in the same way as a smartphone or normal tablet via the touchscreen. The VISIQ features a secure wireless connection as standard for the purpose of sending scans so that they can be saved and shared with other caregivers, for example the specialist at the hospital.
"More and more GPs want to use medical imaging in their practices in order to increase the quality and efficiency of their care at a time when the demand for care is rising sharply. We need to look at how each and every patient can be provided with targeted and good care, now and in the future," says Henk Valk, General Manager of Philips Healthcare Benelux. "The VISIQ represents a milestone in making high-quality medical diagnostics accessible and a new step for us in our ambition to be involved in the overall chain of care with our healthcare solutions."
At the end of last year, Philips and MSN signed a partnership agreement for the supply and maintenance of a wide range of ultrasound equipment to GPs' offices. In order to assist family physicians in using ultrasound in their own practices, Philips and MSN are working together with Heelmeesters Echografie Academie, an organization made up of radiologists who are specialized in providing ultrasound training to fellow doctors.
See for more information https://www.medischservice.nl/visiq