The advent of a technology has revolutionized many fields, including medical education. Many constraints of traditional education had been circumvented, in particular, the availability of resources, thanks to the technology that brought these resources at our fingertips.
One of the most important things that technology changed in medicine is the portability, availability, and importance of ultrasound, particularly the bedside ultrasound. The ultrasound is rapidly changing bedside examination, particularly in places like the emergency room, where the FAST exam is becoming the standard of care.
Bedside ultrasound is also known as clinician-performed ultrasound, focused ultrasound, and more commonly as point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS). It is different from consultative, comprehensive ultrasound, which is performed either by a sonographer or radiologist, while PoCUS is supposed to be performed by a clinician at the bedside.
While this type of imaging is rapidly changing bedside examination, it has not yet become standardized for all specialties, for example, internists. However, in other settings, like the emergency rooms, the PoCUS is becoming the standard of care.
Clinicians who wish to learn and perform a bedside ultrasound, as well as the skills required to create a diagnostic image at the point-of-care, face significant challenges, notably the lack of opportunity to learn from suitably trained educators and mentors.
There are many traditional sources of learning ultrasound, such as textbooks, university courses and hospital-based fellowships and special skills programs. But, as I mentioned above, a technology makes things a little bit simpler.
There is a multitude of websites and smartphone applications that provide an online education in point-of-care ultrasound for medical students, and that can also be utilized in a clinical setting, particularly in the emergency room where residents and physicians use bedside ultrasound daily.
We already reviewed Pocket Emergency Ultrasound app*, a reference tool offering quick access to a database of normal values and ranges used in point-of-care ultrasound.
The app we review today is a different kind of ultrasound app, relying more on video than static images. One Minute Ultrasound app is a free app for iOS and Android devices, created by the folks behind Ultrasound Podcast, Mike Mallin, and Matt Dawson, who are both Emergency Physicians trained in ultrasound.
As its name suggests, the app provides short one-minute educational videos teaching its users on how to perform common bedside ultrasound procedures.
Upon opening the app, you'd notice the simple layout featuring six ultrasound procedures, including FAST (Focused Assessment Sonography in Trauma), Gallbladder, DVT, Aorta, Soft Tissue, and Wall Motion (Cardiac).
Each procedure consists of a short narrated video with multiple windows. For example, the main window shows how to position the transducer to obtain the correct and high-quality images, while the overlying windows show real time scans demonstrating normal and abnormal physiology with useful annotations.
But, don't get disappointed easily. Besides six main procedures, there are also three more sections on the main screen, including More, Full Lectures, and Live Courses.
More section contains additional ultrasound procedures, including Cardiac Output, Diastology, EPSS, Sterile Procedure, Intrauterine Pregnancy, IVC, Kidneys, Ocular, Passive Leg Raise, Shoulder Dislocation, Small Bowel Obstruction, Shoulder Dislocation, and Transvaginal.
There is also a link to Ultrasound Podcast with over 30 comprehensive multimedia talks, each about half an hour long, as well as links to Ultrasound iBook and full lectures that open to iTunes, unlike Full Lecture section on the main screen, which opens the landing page on Ultrasound Podcast with books and apps that users can download for free.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to open the last section of the app titled Live Courses because of a server error.
While the six main videos are stored directly on your phone, as soon as the app is downloaded, requiring no wireless or cellular data to play, additional 13 videos require an Internet connection.
The videos in One Minute Ultrasound app deliver a lot of information on one screen, which may be overwhelming, especially for beginners. But, once you get used to how they work, you'd realize that they're actually quite user-friendly.
The videos, however, cannot be viewed horizontally, so the larger screen you have the better.
I found this short video format very user-friendly. It can be easily integrated into clinical teaching in the emergency room, and perfect solution for students and residents with limited bedside and ultrasound experience.
While these one-minute ultrasound videos are useful for beginners, the podcasts offer more comprehensive content that is suitable for more advanced learners. The most important thing here is that all content is written by clinicians for their colleagues.
I could only recommend One Minute Ultrasound app as a valuable, comprehensive resource of ultrasound techniques and clinical interpretation for common ultrasounds performed at the point of care, which is equally useful for bedside teaching and self-learning.
Benefit: Physicians, residents, and medical students learning point-of-care ultrasound