GE Healthcare pioneered the first color pocket-sized ultrasound, Vscan, in 2010 and has since continued to revolutionize the way clinicians use handheld ultrasound to see patients. To date, there are over 30,000 Vscan Family systems in the pockets of clinicians, impacting the care of more than 50 million patients worldwide. The Vscan Air™, launched earlier this year, increases access to precise care, helping improve workflow efficiencies and patient outcomes through dual-probe whole-body scanning capabilities and a user-friendly interface.
"The upcoming space mission aims to demonstrate the added value AI could have for Point of Care Ultrasound in providing flexible and timely access to diagnostic information anywhere and anytime," said James Hurley, General Manager, Handheld Ultrasound at GE Healthcare. "From the farthest place you can imagine, which is space, to the primary and acute care settings in local communities worldwide, this technology plays a critical role in providing patients with accurate and timely diagnosis of cardiac conditions and other diseases."
The 'Rakia' Preliminary Design Review was completed after the technology was presented to the Scientific Program Committee, Israeli Space Authority, Ramon Foundation and to Col. Stibbe. Its successful completion is a key milestone in the process of any project intended for space missions, as it identifies potential issues and ensures the design will help meet all space mission requirements.
After meeting UltraSight's medical team and being introduced to the technology, Col. Stibbe said, "I am happy to play a role in testing medical innovation that has the potential to improve patient access to advanced medical care around the world. Even in 2021, too many people still do not have access to advanced healthcare. This is a step in the right direction."
In May 2021, UltraSight was selected by the Israel Space Agency to conduct the cardiac study aboard the 'Rakia' space mission. The company chose GE Healthcare as a partner because of its R&D expertise and the high image quality of the Vscan Air™.
UltraSight is a partner in GE Healthcare's Edison™ Developer Program, a dynamic ecosystem which helps innovators deliver advanced healthcare applications, integrate products, and drive commercial growth.
This is not the first time a GE Healthcare ultrasound device was used in space. In July 2011, GE Healthcare's Vivid™ q cardiovascular ultrasound system was delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) on the Atlantis' final space shuttle flight.