Ultrasound – a diagnostic tool for space, sports and more
An ultrasound training program for non-physicians gives astronauts and sports trainers the tools to assess injuries using real-time remote assistance from medical experts.
Researchers with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) have developed a computer-based training method that teaches non-physicians to operate ultrasound as if they were technicians. Crew members for four International Space Station (ISS) missions have trained with the program and have performed ultrasound techniques while in space. The ultrasound program also has been used by trainers with the Detroit Red Wings hockey team.
“In isolated places like the ISS, we don’t have the luxury of a radiologist or specialist onboard,” said Dr. Scott A. Dulchavsky, a researcher on NSBRI’s Smart Medical Systems Team. “Our goal is to enable someone working in a remote environment to assess and manage an emergency medical condition.”
In space, ultrasound can be used to assess a number of injuries such as trauma to the eye, shoulder or knee, tooth abscesses, broken or fractured bones, a collapsed lung, hemorrhaging, or muscle and bone atrophy. It normally takes 200 hours plus yearly updates to learn to operate ultrasound, but Dulchavsky and his team developed an education method that cuts the time to two-to-three hours a year.
Dulchavsky also sees this ultrasound training method as beneficial to battlefield medics and emergency responders. Injury severity can be assessed and decisions made whether to treat injuries on site or transport to a hospital.
“With remote guidance, we virtually couple a modestly trained operator with an experienced medical expert, essentially making the non-physician the hands of the expert,” said Dulchavsky, chair of the Department of Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. “There is tremendous potential for space medicine and benefits for Earth.”
The program consists of a computer-based instructional presentation on the basics of ultrasound examination and examples of remote guidance. Remote guidance is presented in experiment-specific sections, comparable to visual case studies. “One video session walks you through basic positioning, and the next one might demonstrate how to image a bone,” Dulchavsky said.
After the computer-based instruction, trainees participate in a hands-on session where they perform abdominal and musculoskeletal ultrasound scans. A video stream from the ultrasound device is split between the on-site monitor and the remote location. Watching the simultaneous video feed, the remote medical expert can see the trainee’s ultrasound images. He or she uses voice commands to guide the operator into positioning the probe and fine-tuning the settings to produce clear, useful images. The hands-on sessions are designed to closely simulate ultrasound experiments performed in orbit.
After the initial training, ultrasound operators complete a one-hour refresher course developed by Dulchavsky’s team, called the Onboard Proficiency Enhancement (OPE) program. The OPE employs multi-media instruction similar to the original computer-based training. ISS Expedition 9 crewmembers astronaut Michael Fincke and cosmonaut Gennady Padalka completed the OPE program before doing inflight ultrasound scans of the shoulder. Dulchavsky says the program will soon be one of the medical tools used by the Detroit Tigers baseball club. In addition, the U.S. Olympic Committee recently announced a collaboration with Dulchavsky’s group to create research protocols involving Olympic athletes.
“Our next challenge is to improve the speed and efficiency of diagnosing and treating injury,” Dulchavsky said. “We have the opportunity now to expand ultrasound from the medical and hospital setting to include assessment capabilities for sports, emergency medical care and for under-served areas of the world.”
Lauren Hammit | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...