Evaluation: GE Healthcare Venue Point-of-Care Ultrasound Scanner

August 29, 2018 | Evaluations & Guidance

Preview

  • The Venue ultrasound scanner is intended for point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) applications.
    • POCUS refers to the use of the technology by the treating physician or other caregiver at the point of care (POC), as opposed to sending the patient to an imaging specialist such as a radiologist.
    • POCUS scanners are also used to guide interventional procedures, such as therapeutic injection of medications or diagnostic biopsies.
  • Major hardware components include the following:
    • A 49.2 × 54.3 × 121.1 to 147.0 cm (19.4 × 21.4 × 47.6 to 57.9 in) console on four 15.2 cm (6 in) casters that all swivel. One front and one rear caster locks. The console weighs 63 kg (138 lb) and contains a computer that controls the ultrasound signal generator, receiver, and processor. A handle around the top of the console is used to transport the scanner.
    • A 48.3 cm (19 in) high-resolution, flat-panel touchscreen video display with ±80° horizontal viewing angle.
      • Used to view acquired data, select transducers, select presets and imaging modes, adjust image quality, obtain measurements, annotate images, and perform calculations. All controls and a virtual QWERTY keyboard are accessed on the touchscreen. Touchscreen gestures are used to make some imaging changes, such as magnification and color Doppler imaging (CDI) region of interest (ROI) positioning and sizing. Automatic ambient lighting sensing adjusts display brightness based on the ambient light level, and can be disabled by the user.
      • The display is on an articulated arm attached to the console, and is sealed for easy cleaning. A clean mode locks the touchscreen for cleaning. There are four transducer holders, a gel bottle holder, and storage space for accessories on the top of the display. A handle allows users to position the display, independent of the console, for optimal use during exams, and to fold down the display during transport.
    • Four transducer ports.
      • Used to connect transducers.
      • Located on the lower back of the console, with probes kept readily available in holders on top of the display.
    • An internal lithium-ion battery with a battery charge indicator on the video display.
      • Batteries provide power to the scanner for approximately four hours of use, and power when the scanner is in sleep mode.
      • Located at the bottom of the console.
    • A recess for a printer.
      • Used to accommodate an optional black-and-white thermal printer.
      • Located on the front of the console.
    • Internal digital storage.
      • Used to archive acquired data and support software applications.
      • A 128 GB hard drive that has 60 GB dedicated for data archiving is located in the console.
    • Access ports.
      • The ports allow data to be exported for archiving or review and imported for fusion imaging and review.
      • The scanner has three USB ports, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port.
  • Major software components include the following:
    • The Venue employs the vendor's cSound beam-forming technology and has these standard imaging modes and features: conventional and harmonic B-mode imaging, M-mode, anatomical M-mode, pulsed-wave (PW) Doppler, continuous-wave (CW) Doppler, CDI, power Doppler imaging (PDI), tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), Needle Recognition Mode, CrossXBeam compound imaging, Speckle Reduction Imaging (SRI-HD), virtual apex imaging, automatic optimization for B-mode and PW Doppler, and a Sleep Mode that allows the user to save battery power when not in use and permits rapid power-up.
    • Conventional calculation and analysis packages for cardiac, gynecologic, musculoskeletal, obstetric, and urologic applications. These packages enhance data analysis and reporting.
    • POCUS-specific calculation and analysis packages include: Auto-VTI, which calculates the velocity-time integral (VTI) and cardiac output in a single step, and VTI Trending, which provides trending data to enhance patient monitoring and management; a Lung Tool lung exam protocol and Auto B-Lines, which are used to assess the lungs; and Auto-IVC, which automatically measures inferior vena cava (IVC) collapsibility for assessment of suspected shock patients. By automating data acquisition, these tools have the potential to expedite diagnosis and management of patients who are assessed in urgent situations.
    • Access to Qpath (from Telexy Healthcare)—provides secure Internet access to a third-party cloud-based service used for image archiving, exam reporting, billing, data tracking for professional credentialing, and laboratory quality assurance.
  • Optional device components and software features include:
    • Application-specific transducers (see the table below). For more information on transducer types and their applications, see our article Types of Ultrasound Transducers.
      • Transmit the ultrasound beam into the patient's body and receive the returning echoes for data acquisition, processing, and display.
      • Consist of a handheld probe on a cable with a connector to attach it to the scanner.
    • Bar-code reader.
      • Can be used to enter patient data.
      • Attaches to the scanner via a USB port.
    • A large storage bin.
      • Used to store accessories such as exam gloves and probe covers.
      • Attaches to the front of the console.
    • Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) 3.0 connectivity.
      • DICOM is the standard for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting medical imaging data.
      • It enables connectivity of POCUS scanners with a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) for image sharing for efficient data archiving and review.
    • Pinpoint GT needle-guidance technology.
      • Provides a virtual needle display on the ultrasound image that corresponds to the location of a Pinpoint GT needle during interventional applications.
      • Requires software to be installed on the Venue, and the use of Pinpoint GT needles.
    • Ophthalmic imaging software—permits use of specific transducers for ophthalmic imaging applications.

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