Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Cardiorespiratory department have introduced the state-of-the-art Butterfly IQ – the “world’s first handheld single-probe point-of-care whole-body ultrasound scanner”, generously funded by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity.
The Trust have procured three probes at a cost of £3,000 each, and the equipment represents a groundbreaking advancement in medical technology. The handheld ultrasound device offers unparalleled accessibility and versatility at the bedside, particularly for cardiology patients.
It empowers healthcare professionals with a portable and efficient tool for comprehensive cardiac assessments, transforming the way ultrasound diagnostics are approached, and enhances the quality of care for patients, making it a hugely valuable asset in the realm of cardiology.
Mohsin Bobat, Trainee Clinical Physiologist [Card] – Spec. Practitioner, is excited by the technology: “It’s a very sought-after item. The probe is connected to a tablet or smartphone, so the benefit is you don’t have to move bulky machines around and plug them in on the wards – any urgent scans or focus scans in clinic can be done simply, just connect to your device and in an instant you’re getting amazing images. It saves so much time, and it’s easier for patients as well.
“If anyone needs a quick point of care ultrasound, these probes are a quick way of checking things are okay. You might have to refer them for an echocardiogram, where you can get more measurements and a bigger picture, but discharges can be processed quicker, and you can save a patient time and anxiety waiting for a scan.”
Staff will be trained to use the probes, but Shahid Tagari, Clinical Physiologist [Card] – Specialist Practitioner explained: “The telemedicine side of this is the USP, allowing that instant diagnosis from an expert. It is a great tool, if we have a junior doctor using it in A&E in the middle of the night, while they are scanning a patient, because it is linked through an app, they could make a live call to myself for support, on my phone. I could support someone maybe not as experienced, so that telemedicine part of it is very important. In time, every doctor could be going around with one instead of a stethoscope.
“It’s still a triage tool at the moment, but it gives us an edge where we can get more information from the patient than we would have had without that resource. With a stethoscope, you can listen for a heart murmur, but this is then showing us that murmur and we can see that leaky valve.”
Tony Smith, Senior Project Manager • TS Clinical Applications, was delighted to help the department put the probes into practice: “It’s cutting-edge technology, and so agile – handheld, used alongside the supercomputer in your pocket. It adds an extra layer of diligence around heart treatment, and it will be a huge benefit to the department and patients.”
Dan Hill, Head of Hospital Charities, added: “We are delighted that the charity has been able to fund this innovative piece of equipment to benefit patient care. Our charity’s aim has always been to ensure patients at our hospitals have access to the very best care, in the best facilities possible. We are extremely grateful to all our wonderful supporters for helping us work towards this goal, by raising money to fund this cutting-edge equipment – it will help make a huge difference for patients treated at our hospitals.”