Much of medicine has changed since the portable ultrasound expanded point-of-care diagnostics with its introduction 20 years ago. Now, Partners HealthCare’s MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science has aligned with FUJIFILM SonoSite to apply one of those advances, the use of artificial intelligence (AI), to enhance the portable ultrasound’s utility for patients.

The partnership will seek to expand point-of-care ultrasound’s applications, particularly in the settings of emergency medicine and obstetrics, by automating complex procedures. For example, AI can help to automate the segmentation of organ boundaries, measurement of anatomic features, and calculation of physiological parameters to make it easier to apply at and beyond the bedside.

"If we build scanners that can be used by non-expert users both inside and outside the hospital, we can likely reduce the time delay between trauma and diagnosis, which will translate to more rapid interventions and improved outcomes," explains Andrew Liteplo, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine.

Ultimately, the collective clinical expertise of Partners and FUJIFILM Sonosite could have widespread implications for patient care—throughout Partners and even in the developing world, where access to care is a fundamental challenge.

"Allowing for even greater integration of ultrasound into our healthcare delivery system requires smarter machines," said Keith Dreyer, DO, PhD, FACR, FSIIM, Chief Data Science Officer, Partners HealthCare. "In emergency settings, the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of portable ultrasound make it a critical companion to other imaging modalities."

Read more about the effort here.

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