Earlier this month, handheld ultrasound specialist Clarius Mobile Health announced it would be bringing a capability dubbed Voice Controls to its ultrasound scanners.
The new feature, which is available to all customers on Clarius’ Membership subscription service, allows users to control a number of imaging parameters with only their voice, enabling their hands to remain free to perform imaging examinations. The tool, which is powered by AI, allows users to adjust settings such as gain and depth, freeze images, switch imaging modes and to capture images and videos.
It is not the first time voice control capabilities have been offered on ultrasound devices, but does it make sense for Clarius’ customers, or is it just a gimmick?
Earlier this month medical imaging startup OXOS secured $23m in Series A funding, bringing its total funding to $45m.
The vendor, which was co-founded by an orthopaedic surgeon in 2016, is focused on the development of a handheld dynamic digital radiography system for use in orthopaedic surgery, an industry first. The funding round will help the vendor to expedite product development, as well as enable the vendor to increase the availability of its Micro C handheld device in markets across the world.
The potential for handheld X-ray in the coming years is significant, but so too are the challenges, the question is, how well equipped is Oxos to meet them?
In February, Chinese ultrasound vendor Mindray, entered into a new product segment with the release of its first handheld ultrasound system. The TE Air is a wireless device that, according to the company, will deliver high quality point of care ultrasound imaging for clinicians.
The device will compete with comparable offerings from both established international vendors such as GE HealthCare and Philips, as well as those from younger contenders such as Butterfly Network and Clarius. It also integrates with other products in the company’s range, such as the TEX20, as well as hospital information systems, but will this be enough to set it apart?
GE HealthCare has continued to make headlines after spinning out from the broader GE umbrella, making its second acquisition in as many months with a deal for Caption Health.
The move follows GE HealthCare’s January acquisition of Imactis, and sees the healthcare giant pick up one of the better established ultrasound AI vendors. Caption Health specialises in offering ultrasound guidance AI solutions, allowing less experienced users to conduct ultrasound imaging exams.
Given the ability of Caption Health’s solutions to facilitate the use of ultrasound by novice users, GE will first roll out the tool to its point of care and handheld ranges, but there are also opportunities across its portfolio.