How Technology is Shaping Medicine and Ultrasound

June 08, 2015

Dr J. Christian Fox, a Professor of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at UC Irvine, is a self-professed “Sono-Evangelist.”

During a recent lecture at Newport Beach Central Library, Dr. Fox and three physicians from UC Irvine Health shared how technology is shaping their field of practice. With ultrasound machines getting smaller and smaller, Fox said, he envisions hand-held ultrasound machines in the pocket of every doctor’s white coat.

"Ultrasound can be a bit of an art to perform,” Fox said. “It takes quite a bit of training and time to make these machines sing to you. Everything from eyeballs to ankles, and all the organs in between, can be seen in much better resolution and a lot more accurately than the physical examination can ever dream of."

Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to visualize organs and other tissues in the body. Fox said his medical students can use the machines for 30 patient applications that can be done at the bedside. But reading ultrasound images takes a special skill, so the UCI medical school has built ultrasound training into the curriculum. It’s also working on an ultrasound suite to allow medical students and visiting physicians to practice. Fox said ultrasound care could cut down physicians’ use of CT scans – a series of X-ray images taken together to visualize the inside of the body which can add up to a lot of radiation over time, he notes.

“If the answer can come from sound waves and not X-rays, we should not be ashamed to reach for ultrasound first." 

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To get a deeper dive into how Dr. Fox see's ultrasound and how medical schools are training the next generation of phyisicans to use point-of-care ultrasound tools, check out the video below. Students at UCI receive more than 50 hours of hands-on ultrasound training, starting the first week of their first year at medical school. This education is continued for two years allowing students to experience the benefits of ultrasound both as a diagnostic tool and a learning tool.



Learn About point-of-care ultrasound

Sonosite offers ultrasound education when, where, and how you want it. From on-site programs and workshops, to videos on our SonoAccess app, our online and hands-on educational options can get you from "zero to scan" with confidence. Whether novice or expert in your use of point-of-care ultrasound, you will find the below educational offerings go far beyond understanding Sonosite products - they are designed to improve your knowledge of today’s ultrasound best practices. Check out our Education page and dive into the educational resource that makes the most sense for you.