Royal Philips announced today that its app-based ultrasound for smart devices, Lumify, is available for purchase in the U.S. Lumify involves transducers that can connect to select Android tablets and smartphones and runs on a month-to-month subscription, which is an industry first. “It creates new uses of ultrasound and brings ultrasound to wherever the physician and patient are interacting,” Randy Hamlin, vice president and business segment leader of ultra mobile at Philips, told HCB News. “Maybe it’s in the office, maybe it’s in the sports field or maybe it’s in the clinic.”
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Today, Philips is offering a basic app that provides gray-scale imaging, color Doppler imaging and allows for the use of two transducers. It is working with its consortium, partners around the world and internal research groups to develop news apps. Hamlin predicts that in the future, there will be an app for automatic bladder volume calculations, which is mostly used for geriatric care. Philips also plans for it to be used in emergency vehicles en route to the hospital and inside of patient’s homes. Two transducers are currently offered including one for abdominal and obstruction imaging and another for vascular, thyroid and breast imaging. Over time, Philips plans to add additional transducers. According to Hamlin, physicians have been responding very favorably to the concept of a smart device ultrasound. “One of the biggest things we hear after about five seconds of them using Lumify is that they are blown away by the image quality,” he said. “They are pretty excited to see the imaging performance that can come with such a small device.” Physicians also like the flexibility that the subscription model offers them. It doesn’t force them into a capital purchase process and allows them to manage the demand of patients by easily increasing or decrease the amount of subscriptions they offer, said Hamlin. Lumify also makes it much easier to upgrade to new software. That’s useful, since tablet technology is moving at such a fast pace in terms of resolution, memory and processing power. “Today if they purchase a tablet that they run Lumify on, they know they are not locked in for the next five years having to use the same resolution and the same memory like you do with traditional ultrasound purchases,” said Hamlin. Lumify does not compete with Philips’ high-end, cart-based ultrasound system EPIQ. “We see this as a great complement to cart systems because it really provides basic things that the clinician wants to bring to wherever the patient is, which is great image quality and having it connected to their medical record,” said Hamlin.