New technology turns smartphones into ultrasound devices

Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed an interface for USB-based ultrasound probes that effectively turn Windows Mobile smartphones into portable imaging devices. The technology also lets clinicians hook up vascular probes to find blood vessels for starting IV and central lines.

"You can carry around a probe and cell phone and image on the fly now," said computer science professor William Richard. "Imagine having these smartphones in ambulances and emergency rooms. On a larger scale, this kind of cell phone is a complete computer that runs Windows."

Researcher David Zar, who presented the innovation at last week's World Health Care Congress in Washington, DC, envisions a telemedicine application: training people in underserved, remote areas to use their mobile phones to send images to specialists anywhere in the world.

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