The field of echocardiography has progressed rapidly since its introduction about 50 years ago. Device miniaturization, once a dream of the visionaries in the field is now a reality and has provided new avenues for timely diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease at an individual level and at the societal and global levels as well. A complement to physical diagnosis, a tool for rapid recognition of life threatening cardiac conditions, a means of surveillance and follow up of specific parameters that determine course of management, and a tool for mass screening of athletes, at-risk population, and those living in remote regions are some of the tested and potential applications of this new technology. In addition, pocket-sized echocardiography devices can be used as a bedside teaching tool and as a means of monitoring appropriateness of referrals for further cardiovascular testing in an era of heightened sensitivity to proper resource utilization and cost consciousness. This manuscript summarizes the latest technological developments in the area of echocardiographic device miniaturization, reviews emerging applications of hand-carried and hand-held units, and presents related patents in this field.
- Physical examination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging