A medical outreach collaboration is working with local hospitals in India to bring sophisticated ultrasound technology and education to patients.
Nearly 12 months after their first collaborative medical outreach project, the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE; Morrisville, NC, USA) and GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK) are in rural northwest India again to utilize the latest developments in cardiovascular ultrasound technology to help enrich medical education for healthcare providers caring for the underserved populations in India.
An organized team of ASE member sonographers and physicians has traveled to New Delhi to train Indian physicians in image acquisition while evaluating the potential of remote medical education. The educational event is a collaboration with Medanta—The Medicity, one of India’s largest multispecialty medical institutes located in Gurgaon, in the National Capital Region. An additional team of ASE sonographers is assisting in training via the internet and StatVideo’s EchoBoxes, equipment designed to stream cardiac ultrasound images over the internet. Twenty Indian physicians are receiving training on-site, while half of the physicians are also benefitting from additional training by ASE sonographers providing real-time instruction remotely from the United States. This technology is helping them visualize the images the Indian physicians scanned, providing instruction to the physicians on enhanced acquisition in real-time.
After an effective medical camp in January 2012, healthcare providers’ project have included two new corporate sponsors CoreSound Imaging (Raleigh, NC, USA) and StatVideo (Andover, MA, USA), to expand the reach from the rural setting with long-distance, web-based technology to the remote sonographers. The project was organized by Partho P. Sengupta, MD, FASE, a New York-based cardiologist, a member of the board of ASE, and the India liaison for ASE. The local training was coordinated by Dr. Ravi Kasliwal, MD, and Dr. Manish Bansal, MD, FASE, of Medanta-The Medicity.
“This educational activity sets a benchmark in delivering innovative internet-based teleconsultation and tele-education program to physicians,” said Dr. Sengupta. “The physicians registered for a novel training module: ASE-VISION (Value of Interactive Scanning for Improving Outcome of New Learners). This program ushers newer training possibilities in integration of tele-echocardiography with activities that range from real-time online assessments, long distance consultations, information sharing, and education of physicians in remote areas of the world.”
Clinicians will leverage GE Healthcare ultrasound technology, including the laptop-sized Vivid i and Vivid q plus the Vscan pocket-sized visualization tool to facilitate the acquisition of the images and provide an educational and awareness vehicle for India-based physicians. The systems will be used on loan from GE Healthcare, which also provided an educational grant for the project to help support travel for sonographers. Vscan utilizes ultrasound technology to provide clinicians with an immediate, noninvasive way to help obtain visual data about what is occuring inside the body. In remote areas, as well as in current clinical environments, the ability to take a “quick peak” inside the body may not only help clinicians identify disease earlier but also better triage patients.
“Based on the positive impact and success of the medical camp in January 2012 GE is honored to help provide education to local physicians and improve the care provided to citizens in India once again,” said Al Lojewski, general manager, cardiovascular ultrasound, GE Healthcare. “Through the use of portable GE ultrasound technology and the collaboration with local healthcare providers, ASE and its physician members are helping improve the overall quality of care for thousands of people in this rural part of India.”
StatVideo’s five EchoBox devices enable real-time ultrasound video images to be streamed over the web from Medanta Hospital in India to the United States. Consultants can view these images in real time with physician participants at Medanta.
Core Sound Imaging is providing Studycast, a cloud-picture archiving and communication system (PACS) that allows physicians to view and report on ultrasound images that have been performed.
As the largest global organization for cardiovascular ultrasound imaging, the American Society of Echocardiography is a leader and advocate, setting practice standards and guidelines.
American Society of Echocardiography
Core Sound Imaging