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Examination of a bladder for measuring its volume is a very important procedure that enables to define whether the urinary catheter is necessary to be emplaced. Hand-held ultrasound scanners that have recently entered the global medical equipment market make it possible to examine a patient lying in bed, in the operating theatre, bandaging room or procedure room within a few minutes. The American program to combat healthcare-associated infections as well as catheter associated infections gave an impulse to develop and create such devices.

One of the companies presenting such an ultrasound scanner was dBMEDx Inc, American company specializing in creating wireless medical devices.  New ultrasound equipment that the majority of medical centers can afford due to its reasonable price, is called BBS Revolution. This device consists of a platform and a transducer. Data collecting is carried out by the transducer conveying the information to the portable platform via Bluetooth.

The fact that the device obtained the FDA certificate is an important step for BBS Revolution to enter the American as well as the global market. It is worth mentioning that at present, the annual budget that the market of the bladder volume measurement devices has, makes up about $180 billion, and it is going to increase yearly.

SignosRT, another portable ultrasound machine of this type, approved by the FDA, is produced by Signostics, an Australian company. Manufacturers describe this device that is affordable for most medical centers, as a device for home use. The Australian Health Care Nurses Association positively commented on this issue, since the members of the Association had already used this device while examining patients in their homes. One of the important features of these scanners is that obtained information is processed by a computer program, which allows this equipment to be used even by semi-skilled medical staff.

Signostics believe, that such equipment can make a breakthrough in the healthcare system, particularly in geriatrics. Simple and functional devices will help save a significant number of patients from urinary tract infection. Unfortunately, such type of examination has been popularized only in developed countries so far. Nevertheless, after a while, it will take its place on the other continents as well, where an invasive bladder catheterization is still a routine and often needless procedure.

By Yuri Lovitsky, doctor, BiMedis staff writer