Vscan is a battery operated pocket-sized general purpose ultrasound imaging system. This product was selected for inclusion in WHO’s 2013 Compendium of Innovative Health Technologies for Low-Resource Settings
VScan is targeted for global distribution. The device is currently sold in over 100 countries worldwide.
The VScan can be purchased through GE Healthcare or through many international distributors in new or refurbished condition.
The VScan system (Vscan, docking station, battery, battery charger, memory card, USB cable, and software) is priced at around $8500 USD by GE Healthcare.Interview with representative The product can also be purchased in new or refurbished condition from international suppliers for as low as $5850 USD and $3800 USD respectively.Interview with distributor
Physician, technician, nurse, or midwife in health care facilities of any level.
Over 15,000 VScans have been distributed across over 100 countries according to the 2014 VScan View Magazine.
GE Vscan is a compact and portable diagnostic ultrasound system with integrated keyboard, fold-up LCD type display and fixed wired electronic-array transducer. The device provides black and white mode imaging for displaying anatomy. The field-of-view for the black and white imaging is up to 75 degrees with maximum depth of 24 cm. The device includes a color-coded overlay feature for real-time blood flow imaging. The device takes distance measurements and has predefined scanning settings optimized for different applications (e.g Obstetrics, Cardiac, Abdominal). The VScan includes software that is compatible with a PC operating system. The VScan can take area measurements when docked to a PC that has the Vscan gateway software installed. VScan data can be stored on a microSD or microSDHC card in jpg, mpg, or wav format.
The VScan runs on a rechargeable battery that provides up to 90 minutes of scanning (with 80% black and white, 20% color imaging). The recharge time for the device battery is one hour for 90% battery capacity. The control unit and probe may be cleaned with a warm soap and water solution and disinfected with any germicide recommended in the user manual.
Operational temperature: 10-40C; Non-operational temperature: -20-70C; Display unit: 135 x 73 x 28 mm; Probe dimensions: 120 x 33 x 26 mm; Weight (unit and probe): 390 g
GE Healthcare provides a 3 year warranty on the product. According to the user manual, safety inspections should be performed at least every 12 months. A GE technician must perform this preventative maintenance.Interview with representative Troubleshooting guidance is provided in the user manual. GE policy is that any repairs to the VScan system must be made at a warehouse. In the meantime, a loaner unit might be provided if the product is still under warranty.Interview with representative
GE Healthcare provides free applications training with each system that is bought but the user should already be familiar with ultrasound scanning. Advanced applications training can be provided for new ultrasound users at an additional cost.Interview with representative
The length of warranty and extent of technical service provided varies for other distributors of the product.Interview with distributor
Replacement components are not sold separately for VScan, partially because the product is supported with a 3 year warranty.Interview with representative Accessories such as spare battery, extra docking station, or power cord are sold separately.
The VScan (excluding the battery) has a lifetime of 10 years.Interview with representative The battery has a lifetime of at least 300 charges.
The distance measurement accuracy is 7% of the measured distance, for distances >1 cm. The area measurement accuracy is 10% of the measured area for areas larger than 1 cm2.
The performance of the VScan has been tested and published in over 30 peer-reviewed articles. Two of these studies were conducted in Tanzania and produced positive outcomes on the training1, ease of use, and accuracy of the Vscan2. A clinical study performed in Brazil revealed that the VScan produced comparative results in visualizing the embryo heartbeat to a traditional ultrasound system for pregnant women in their first trimester3. A study performed in the United Kingdom also revealed that there was a good agreement between the VScan and high-specialization ultrasound machines for identifying the presence of fetal heart motion for women in early pregnancy4.
Ifakara Health Institute, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, Federal University of Paraná
All safety precautions, such as mechanical and electrical hazards, can be reviewed in the user manual.
The lens, probe housing, and cable of the VScan must be inspected for damage and then tested for functionality before each use.
Continuous, Recharging only, None, Other
B-mode, M-mode, Pulsed Wave, Power Doppler, etc.
OB, cardiac, urology, etc…
Mbuyita S, Tillya R, Godfrey R, Janeen U, Mukherji K, et al. (2014) Uptake of Training on Vscan by Midlevel Providers Working in Rural Health Facilities in Tanzania: Implications for Reliability. J Biosafety Health Educ 2:123. doi:10.4172/2332-0893.1000123
Mbuyita, S., Tillya, R., Godfrey, R., Kinyonge, I., Shaban, J., & Mbaruku, G. (2015). Effects of introducing routinely ultrasound scanning during Ante Natal Care (ANC) clinics on number of visits of ANC and facility delivery: a cohort study. Archives of Public Health, 73(1), 36. http://doi.org/10.1186/s13690-015-0086-8
Bruns, R.F., Menegatti, C.M., Martins, W.P., Araujo, E. (2015). Applicability of pocket ultrasound during the first trimester of pregnancy. MEDICAL ULTRASONOGRAPHY, 17(3), 284-288.
Sayasneh, A., Preisler, J., Smith, A., Saso, S., Naji, O., Abdallah, Y., & … Bourne, T. (2012). Do pocket-sized ultrasound machines have the potential to be used as a tool to triage patients in obstetrics and gynecology?. Ultrasound In Obstetrics & Gynecology, 40(2), 145-150. doi:10.1002/uog.11184
Anders, A. M., Campbell, K. H., Galerneau, F., Ye, S., & Kliman, H. J. (2012). P16.10: Vscan portable ultrasound scanner accurately measures estimated placental volume (EPV). Ultrasound In Obstetrics & Gynecology, 40232-233. doi:10.1002/uog.11979
Neymeyer, J., Cash, H., Roller, C., Kontidou, Fuller, T.F., (2013). MP-01.05 Vscan: A Pocket-Sized Ultrasound Device in Examination of the Genitourinary Tract. Urology, 78(3), S28. doi:doi:10.1016/j.urology.2011.07.007
Troyano Luque J.M., Ferrer-Roca, O., Barco-Marcellan, M.J., Lopez, R.S., Perez-Medina, T., Perez-Lopez, F.R. (2013). Modification of the hand-held Vscan ultrasound and verification of its performance for transvaginal applications. Ultrasonics, 50(1), 17-22. doi:10.1016/j.ultras.2012.03.006
A list of research publications can be found on the Research Publications Bibliography.
EMC requirements of EN55011/A1/A2:2002 Class B, IEC60601-2-37/A1/A2:2005, IEC60601-1/A1/A2:1995, IEC60601-1-1:2000, IEC60601-1-2/A1:2004, IEC60601-1-4 /A1:1999, IEC60601-1-6:2006, UL60601-1:2003, CAN/CSA C22.2 No 601.1-M90, NEMA UD3:2004, European Medical Devices Directive (MDD) 93/42/EEC as amended by 2007/47/EC (CE Mark), FDA 510(k) clearance.
The device has been evaluated for acoustic output, biocompatibility, cleaning and
disinfection effectiveness as well as thermal, electrical and mechanical safety, and has been found to conform with applicable medical device safety standards.
GE Healthcare also sells GoldSeal refurbished VScan systems. However, the availability of refurbished Vscans is typically scarce and GoldSeal products are covered with only a one year warranty.Interview with representative
The VScan was selected for inclusion in the 2013 edition of the WHO Compendium of Innovative Health Technologies for Low-Resource Settings.
Ghana’s Ministry of Health has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GE to introduce VScan in combination with a training program.
Designers should also investigate additional guidelines, such as the WHO Manual of diagnostic ultrasound. Designers should also take social factors into consideration, such as the use of ultrasounds for gender-biased sex selection in some parts of the world.
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