Last year, GE Healthcare upgraded its decade-old line of portable ultrasound devices with the launch of the Vscan Air, a wireless, pocket-sized system for whole-body scanning. Almost exactly one year later, the Vscan Air is getting an upgrade of its own.
Healthcare providers using the device will soon be able to opt in to either of two subscriptions that’ll add a handful of new digital tools to the ultrasound system, GE announced Monday.
The two subscription plans—dubbed the Fleet and Individual solutions—are designed for large hospitals and health systems, and smaller practices and individual clinicians, respectively. They’ll be available for purchase in the U.S. beginning sometime in the second quarter of the year.
Both subscription plans will include access to MyRemoteShare, which is powered by remote collaboration heavyweight Zoom. Clinicians will be able to share images, videos and audio from the Vscan Air with their colleagues in real time, allowing them to get immediate feedback and support when needed and also improving student training.
Another feature, MyImageCloud, will be specific to the Individual plan for smaller customers. It’s a cloud-based data and image storing tool where users will be able to automatically upload exams, then easily re-access and share that data.
Fleet subscribers, meanwhile, will have access to MyDeviceHub, where, fittingly enough, they’ll be able to manage their entire fleet of Vscan Air devices from a single location. In the online portal, administrators can sort the devices into separate groups, assign them to specific hospital departments and track usage of each scanner.
“Through Vscan Air Digital Tools, we are propelling ultrasound forward into a future that users are demanding. A future that empowers clinicians to spend more time with patients, and less time collecting data. A future that unlocks better clinical outcomes and operational efficiencies across an entire enterprise,” said Karley Yoder, chief digital officer of GE’s ultrasound business.
The Vscan Air’s new tools arrived shortly after GE sang the praises of its ultrasound division during an investor day presentation last week. At the time, Roland Rott, president and CEO of the division, singled out two of the most promising areas of the business—the first of which includes portable devices like the Vscan Air.
“Hand-held ultrasound is the fastest-growing market in ultrasound. Why? Because the way care is provided in our world has changed, not the least through COVID,” Rott said. “It’s not only taking place in the four walls of the hospital, but it pretty much can go anywhere, even including the home.”
Rott also highlighted GE’s recent acquisition of BK Medical, which he categorized as “our entry into the operating room.” GE put down nearly $1.5 billion for the company, which has developed surgical visualization technology that provides real-time imaging support during minimally invasive, robotic and open procedures.