The medical field is always advancing. Scientists constantly search for new ways to diagnose and prevent illnesses, especially with the latest technology.
Ultrasound machinery was an incredible advancement that continues to help patients and doctors. It has improved over the years and expanded to many uses. These are the 10 main benefits of the technology that anyone can appreciate.
1. It’s Safe Diagnostic Imaging
Many people are hesitant to test for illnesses because they don’t want to risk the side effects of certain machinery or new medications. Ultrasound imaging is different. Doctors recommend it for most patients because it rarely has any downsides.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers non-ionizing radiation in ultrasounds safe because it has an excellent 20-year track record. It won’t affect the patient like X-ray systems or other technology that uses ionizing radiation.
2. It Doesn’t Take Long
Depending on the exam, an ultrasound appointment is relatively quick. It produces images upon contact with the patient. No one has to wait to see results. They are clear right away and found by people who are experienced in reading whatever might appear on the screen.
Without the need for third-party labs, patients and doctors can find the best diagnosis and treatment plan right away. The streamlined process produces quick results and minimizes how many costly steps might wait between a patient and their life-changing diagnosis.
3. It Has Soft-Tissue Visualization
One of the benefits of ultrasound technology is soft-tissue visualization. Doctors can see contrast without harmful radiation to identify and diagnose issues throughout the body. It’s a significant medical advantage for humans and animals, so the tech is multipurpose across medical fields.
The soft-tissue visualization can also focus on blood flow. The imaging identifies veins and muscle tissue to easily identify potential problems with blood flow like clotting or swelling. It can provide more specific answers than other testing like an ankle-brachial index (ABI). There’s also no need for iodine dyes like those used for a computed tomography angiograph (CT) or magnetic resonance angiograph (MRA).
4. It’s a Noninvasive Option
Many modern testing options require invasive procedures or dyes. It can be too intensive for some patients or time-consuming for others. Ultrasound noninvasively visualizes, monitors and performs measurements in the human body. The treatment’s easy to perform for everyone involved, making it an excellent resource for medical professionals.
5. It Doesn’t Risk Allergic Reactions
Some treatments aren’t available to patients with specific allergies. They may not respond well to dyes or have a bad reaction to medications that make procedures possible. Ultrasounds don’t pose a severe health risk in the same way.
The ultrasound wand doesn’t contain ingredients that trigger allergies. Even if used within body cavities, patients have little to no risk of encountering a severe reaction. The only potential danger is the gel used to make the imaging clearer. One study found that an older man with contact dermatitis developed a purpuric cutaneous presentation where his skin contacted the gel. However, the case didn’t influence the safety for general clinical use.
6. It’s Relatively Inexpensive for Clinics
Because ultrasounds have been around for so long, they’re relatively inexpensive compared to other machinery used in doctors’ offices and clinics. Medical facilities can easily afford them even if the ultrasound is brand new because the technology is easily accessible.
The only time they will become more costly is if a clinic needs its ultrasound machine to have more high-tech features for specialized exams. More advanced software with additional features will cost more for clinics and their patients.
7. It’s Insurance-Provided Care
Most insurance providers cover ultrasound testing. They’re medically necessary for achieving the correct diagnosis and maintaining a patient’s overall health. Insurance often covers unique ultrasound features as well, like keepsake sonograms for pregnant patients who are prescribed a sonogram.
Insurance providers rarely leave ultrasound fees entirely to the patient. Contact your insurance company if you’re unsure about how much you will need to pay for an upcoming exam. It can ask questions that rule out the rare cases where your exam will be out-of-pocket and give you a better idea of how much your appointment will cost.
8. It Can Locate Numerous Diseases
People often think of pregnancy when they imagine conditions that require ultrasound imaging, but that isn’t the only time it might be necessary. Ultrasound machinery can also diagnose symptoms related to conditions like:
- Abnormal growths
The transducer wand can press against different organs to capture clear images, so they help spot anything that’s causing pain or unordinary lumps.
9. It Travels Easily
Some medical technology is too bulky or heavy to lift. Dialysis machines and ventilators must stay within the same building, while laboratory equipment that makes testing possible should remain in a single room. Ultrasound machines are much easier to move because they have a simple shape and come on wheels.
That mobility makes ultrasounds a crucial resource for facilities, hospitals and mobile clinics. Depending on where medical professionals need to see their patients, ultrasound machines can easily be transported between rooms or locations.
10. It’s Easy to Learn
Ultrasound techniques aren’t something you can learn by picking up the wand and giving it a try. Medical professionals have to take courses and practice imaging before ever helping their patients. Although the class may take weeks or months, it’s relatively easy to add to someone’s professional abilities.
People in different medical fields can take classes at any point in their careers to update their procedural knowledge or add ultrasound imaging to their skillset. Courses are also available to anyone in retirement who wants to work with nonprofit clinics as an ultrasound technician.
Discover the Benefits of Ultrasound Technology
Ultrasound technology delivers many benefits for patients and doctors alike. Consider these examples as you decide the best course of treatment for your health concerns. Ultrasound imaging can be an excellent resource if everyone understands its many purposes and gets the most out of this testing.