shapeMedgadget reports that Healcerion, a South Korean company, has developed a portable ultrasound device that is no bigger than the transducer itself. It couples wirelessly to a tablet or smartphone.

According to the report, the device isn’t meant to replace large ultrasound machines, but to allow ultrasound technology to be used in situations in which the larger, full-featured machines are inconvenient or not practical. One example given is for a doctor making general rounds, where ultrasound could be a very useful evaluation tool but doesn’t warrant the time and trouble it would take to employ a full-sized machine.

I can envision how Healcerion’s device would be very useful in rural medicine, home healthcare, and in resource-poor areas. The ability to package ultrasound technology into a hand-held, wireless unit points to how other medical technologies will become eminently portable and convenient as well. It will be a great boon in providing underserved populations access to sophisticated healthcare technologies.