A Malaysian hospital has been using an ultrasound device to detect COVID-19.
Paras Doshi from Hospital Tuanku Fauziah, who is a consultant in advanced acute internal medicine, told Bernama today that the pocket-sized device gives doctors more freedom of movement and is compatible with other devices like smartphones and tablets. Its use has also resulted in fewer people being admitted to the hospital’s emergency department – a drop of 62% as compared to the previous year, he said.
“It hasn’t just reduced overcrowding in the ward, but cost and hospitalisation time too, allowing resources to be used for Covid-19 patients,” he said, later adding: “For example, if there is a Covid-19 case in a remote hospital in Lahad Datu, Sabah, the medical officer can make an early diagnosis without needing to transfer the patient to a bigger hospital.”
Examination results can then be shared with a specialist doctor for further treatment.
The report did not reveal the maker of the device, but said that it has been able to save patients the hassle of going for imaging tests using bulky equipment like the computerised tomography (CT) scanner. Better yet, the ultrasound device can help to reduce chances of the virus spreading between frontliners and patients since tests can be done on the spot.
The Malaysian Advanced Acute Internal Medicine and Ultrasound Society have also vouched for the use of this device, saying that a quicker diagnosis can reduce ward admissions.
“Hence, only patients who need treatment, like COVID-19 patients, will be admitted,” both organizations said.