#Innovation: Pocket-sized Ultrasound Device makes a difference in Eastern Africa

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One of the main challenges in Uganda is limited access to healthcare. In a country where the average age is 15.5 years ¹ and life expectancy for males is 60 years², the importance of basic healthcare is undeniable. For many, healthcare is simply not affordable, but even for those who can afford it, the distance to local hospitals poses an incredible risk.

Equipped with GE Healthcare’s Vscan™ with Dual Probe – a pocket-sized Ultrasound machine – Dr. Mumoli and seven other Bhalobasa volunteers including doctors, nurses and teachers worked with the community of Kampala and surrounding towns in Uganda and Tanzania to teach children of all ages about healthy habits and train nurses and clinicians in the local hospitals.

As observed by the team, the communities faced challenges such as outdated machinery and lack of resources, amongst others, with often no solutions. But with the single ultrasound console, the team was able to scan more than 120 patients in addition to teaching local clinicians and nurses how to use the ultrasound for general scans.

“With Vscan with Dual Probe, we were able to give patients immediate diagnosis and care,” said Dr. Mumoli. “The device’s portability allowed us to scan these patients both in a clinical setting and also in more rural settings.”

When it comes to health care service delivery, all stakeholders are asking for improved results: better access, faster diagnosis and treatment, more convenience, greater sensitivity to cultural differences and health disparities, and more.

It is no longer enough to merely pursue improvement; innovation is needed to accelerate rapidly and to produce the needed change in important areas of healthcare including prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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