FDA Approves a Smartphone-Based Ultrasound System

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Pregnant woman having fetal sonogram

This week, Washington-based health startup Mobisante announced FDA approval of its smartphone-based MobiUS portable medical ultrasound unit. The company called it a “world’s first,” according to Fast Company.

The mobile ultrasound system requires nothing more than the wand, some gel and a Windows Mobile-enabled smartphone. The entire system, including the software and phone, costs between $7,000 and $8,000 — which is significantly cheaper than the traditional ultrasound units found in hospitals.

Given its pocket size, MobiUS should be especially helpful to remote and rural doctors who don’t have access to traditional equipment, or to doctors and emergency units working in the field. Having ultrasound images on a cellular and WiFi-connected smartphone also means information can be shared easily with patients or with other doctors for second opinions.

One limitation is that the system works only on the Windows Mobile 6.5-based Toshiba TG01 smartphone. Mobisante says it’s working on making MobiUS compatibile with the HP Slate tablet.

In other news, the FDA also just approved the first iPhone and iPad app — called Mobile MIM — for viewing medical images for diagnostic purposes. The FDA announced last Friday:

The application is the first cleared by the FDA for viewing images and making medical diagnoses based on computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear medicine technology, such as positron emission tomography (PET). It is not intended to replace full workstations and is indicated for use only when there is no access to a workstation.

For news on health care and mobile tech, check out the blog MobiHealthNews.

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