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App Review: Clinical Ultrasound Reference Tools


Looking to brush-up on or further your ultrasound skills? Here are a few apps, podcasts, and references you should check out.

One of the things that I still struggle with in my practice is using the ultrasound. Yes, there are excellent courses provided within our state and nationally where you can learn the basics to expand your skill. But in the end, it still comes down to repetition and practice. Seeing that I always have my smartphone and iPad with me, I began to wonder what apps there may be that I could look at during downtime to help improve my skill with ultrasound, here's what I found.

One of the first things that I found was podcasts. One of the better podcasts is the Ultrasound Podcast. Episodes are roughly a half hour in length and also available in video format. Each podcast is topic-specific and provides great information to apply to your clinical practice.

I also found an app associated with the podcast called the 1 Minute Ultrasound Podcast. It's free, has some good video, but is not as helpful as subscribing to the formal podcast. Both the podcast and the app are available on iOS and android.

Another resource is the Pocket Atlas of Emergency Ultrasound, which is essentially an app for the text book of the same name. It's a quick, handy guide with lots of images and links to video to assist the clinician. It is available on both iOS and android through their respective app stores. The downside to the program is that it costs $70.

As far as apps go, if I had to choose one app, then I would select SonoSupport. It is, in my opinion, the best ultrasound reference to have on your mobile device. It's succinct and easy to read, while providing an extensive library of studies with plenty of images. The app provides you with a step-by-step guide to get the best images for your study, and it only costs $5.

The only drawback I could find is that the app is only for iOS devices and for android through Amazon's App Store. You may also be disappointed that there aren't as many videos of cases compared to the number of static images that you see. But for the amount of information you receive with this app, it is a definite purchase in my book.

SonoAccess is another app option. Originally, when it first came out, it was very rudimentary. But with recent updates, it has had a significant improvement in interface and content. The app is designed to be an interactive tutorial with excellent resolution videos and images. You can select your specialty and a "playlist" of videos and images are easily accessible. It also offers video tutorials of particular ultrasound machines (if they are made by SonoSite). There are also case studies for the physician to review. SonoAccess is free and available through the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store for both iPhones and iPads. What more could you ask for?

Another great reference to have on your device that is free is ACEP's Trauma Ultrasound eBook. It's an extremely well done eFAST overview with a great interface and tons of video.

I am by no means an ultrasound guru, nor do I think I will become one. But, with great references like these, I can improve my skills and hopefully have a positive impact the care I can provide to my patients.  

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