Scientists have developed a pocket-sized ultrasound device (PUD) that can help reduce the need for further testing in both the inpatient and outpatient setting.
The device is helpful in testing biliary-duct dilation, gallstones, ascites, splenomegaly, pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, urinary retention, urinary stones, abdominal mass and aortic aneurysm.
PUDs offer a comparable performance to standard ultrasonography, however the accuracy of a physical examination is often poor meaning that further tests are required.
This study assessed whether adding the use of PUD to physical examination could lead to a reduction in the rate of additional tests.
Of the 1,962 patients included in the study, 726 were inpatients, 510 were hepatology outpatients and 726 were recruited from doctors.
The overall frequency of further tests needed after PUD was 37 percent.
The study found that after basic training, the use of a PUD offered a simple and effective way to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and reduce the number of tests a patient needs.
The study was presented at The International Liver Congress 2015 in Vienna, Austria.