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Hand-Held Ultrasound Scanners in Medical Education: A Systematic Review
Victor Galusko1*, Mohammed Khanji2, Owen Bodger1, Clive Weston1, John Chambers 3, Adrian Ionescu 2
1Swansea University College of Medicine
2Morriston Cardiac Regional Centre, ABMU LHB, Swansea, UK
3Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust
Corresponding Author: Victor Galusko ,Email: victorzz@hotmail.co.uk
ABSTRACT
Background:
Ultrasound imaging devices are becoming popular in clinical and teaching applications, but there is no systematic information on their use in medical education. We conducted a systematic review of hand-held ultrasound (HHU) devices in undergraduate medical education to delineate their role, significance and limitations.
Methods:
We searched Cochrane, PubMed, Embase and Medline using the strategy: ((Hand-held OR Portable OR Pocket OR “Point of Care Systems”) AND Ultrasound) AND (Education OR Training OR Undergraduate OR “Medical Students” OR “Medical School”). We summarised the patterns of HHU use, pooled and estimated sensitivity and specificity of HHU for detection of left ventricular dysfunction.
Results:
We retained 12 articles focusing on undergraduate medical education. Features reported were heterogeneous: Training time (1 – 25 hours), number of students involved (1 - a whole year’s intake), number of subjects scanned (27 – 211), type of learning (self-directed vs. traditional lectures + hands-on sessions). Most studies reported cardiac HHU examinations, but other areas were examined, e.g. abdomen and thyroid. Pooled sensitivity - 0.88 (0.83-0.92) - and specificity - 0.86 (0.81-0.90) – were high for the detection of LV systolic dysfunction. Conclusions: Data on hand-held ultrasound devices in medical education is scarce and incomplete, but students can be trained to high standards of diagnostic accuracy in a limited number of (mainly cardiac) pathologies. There is no consensus on protocols best-suited to the educational needs of medical students, nor data on the long-term impact or on the financial implications of deploying HHU in this setting.
Keywords: Hand-held ultrasound, Undergraduate medical education, Echocardiography, Sensitivity, Specificity
Volume 25, No 3
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