Medgadget has selected one of my favorite gadgets for their best of 2010 list. Medgadget has posted about the GE Vscan before, and I have had the chance to gets hands on with it at the trade shows of the last few Cardiology conferences (American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association). For those who are curious, it is easily palm-held with an interface similar to the wheel of an iPod permitting your other hand to be free for keeping the probe on the patient's chest. While it will not do some of the advanced imaging that a standalone machine will do, the Vscan can answer many of the questions typically asked of a cardiologist overnight on call (Is there an effusion? What is the cardiac function?) The Vscan will store clips and group them by patient ID so you can download them later to share with others or generate reports of your findings.
Love it, want one, do not have thousands to buy out of pocket. Head over to http://www.echojournal.com/ to see some of the capabilities of echocardiography and you can imagine why it would be to neat to have one of these in your pocket all the time!
Also on Medgadget recently is this announcement that a company called Alivecor is going to announce an iPhone/iPad based ECG system at CES in 2011. Not sure how this would work. I never have much trouble finding an ECG machine when I need one and having a large scale paper printed ECG to look at seems much more valuable to me than viewing them on an iPhone size screen (iPad might be okay). Are the leads disposable? Do I have to carry those around too? I guess there might be some utility for remote areas that have this need and it might be nice to have as a tool at a tent for a marathon or something. The website is basically just a "coming soon" holder page, so we will have to wait for CES I suppose.