An ultrasound that can be mounted to an IV pole, wall, or ceiling? Pretty cool stuff. Following the idea of a tablet PC, of sorts, SonoSite introduced its "S" series of ultrasounds that are essentially a thick LCD screen with a couple knobs and buttons. Lacking a keyboard, these are very specific ultrasounds (S-FAST for emergency physicians and S-NERVE for anesthesiology). These are cool units that took some marbles to create. They don't have a keyboard and run just a few probes. This could be a dream for the emergency physician or a frustration. My guess: fewer buttons, imaging only = quick exams, short learning curve, and efficiency.
The coolest thing is that these units can be mounted to a wall mount, ceiling, IV pole or whatever you can come up with, eliminating the need for a cart and place for the keyboard.
I know I sound like a broken record here, but whomever at SonoSite performs market research must spend a heck of a lot of time in the ER and with anesthesiologists. And someone within that company is listening. In a market that is often force-fed and imitated, these two units are really quite cool and innovative. Sure, they could be a flop, but I'll guess a simple demo in (particularly anesthesiology) the office makes for a relatively easy sale over other SonoSite, Zonare, or GE products. Is anyone else out there watching what these SonoSite guys are doing? Are they learning? The full article on this system can be found here.
Quoted from http://www.sonosite.com/Press-Releases/news-2007-10-15.html:
BOTHELL, WA, October 15, 2007 - SonoSite, Inc. (Nasdaq:SONO), the world leader in hand-carried ultrasound, today introduced the S-Nerve procedural tool, the first ultrasound device custom-designed to support the specific needs of anesthesiologists who perform regional anesthesia. SonoSite is showcasing the new S-Nerve product at the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ (ASA) annual meeting in San Francisco and expects to begin customer shipments in the fourth quarter of this year.