Evaluation: Philips Healthcare Sparq Point-of-Care Ultrasound Scanner

August 29, 2018 | Evaluations & Guidance

Preview

  • The Sparq 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 53.3 × 63.5 × 82.6 to 111 cm (21 × 25 × 32.5 to 43.75 in) console on 12.7 cm (5 in) casters that all have swivel locks and brakes that the user can engage and disengage independently. The console weighs 66.2 kg (146 lb) and contains a computer that controls the ultrasound signal generator, receiver, and processor.
    • A sealed glass Intuitive Dynamic Interface.
      • The user interface is used to select transducers, select presets and imaging modes, adjust image quality, obtain measurements, annotate images, and perform calculations. The Sparq supports the vendor's PureWave transducer technology and these features: iSCAN automatic optimization control for B-mode and color Doppler imaging; AutoSCAN control for continuous and automatic B-mode optimization; SonoCT image compounding, Advanced XRES processing, SmartExam exam protocols, and Exam Dashboard to manage the exam; Simplicity Mode, which allows the user to turn off preselected controls; and Sleep Mode, which allows the user to save battery power when the device is not in use and permits more rapid device power-up than from off.
      • The control module is position adjustable. An alphanumeric hard keyboard retracts under the control panel when not in use. A handle wraps 360° around the control panel and is used to position the control module during exams and for transport. Transducer holders, transducer cable hooks, and gel bottle holders can be attached to the handle.
    • A 43.2 cm (17 in) high-resolution flat-panel video display with wide viewing angle.
      • Used to view ultrasound images and other data. Eight quick-key indicators with softkey adjustment controls are located on the lower section of the display.
      • Attached to the scanner on an articulated arm to allow users to position it separately from the console for optimal use during exams. The display has automatic ambient lighting sensing to adjust image brightness based on ambient light levels. This feature can be disabled by the user.
    • Three transducer ports.
      • Used to connect transducers to the scanner.
      • Located on the lower front of the console, with probes kept readily available in holders on the console handle. The scanner has a locking latch for each port.
    • Physiologic input ports.
      • Used to input patient ECG, respiratory, phono, and pulse data into the scanner.
      • The ports are located on a module under the lower front of the console.
    • Four internal lithium-ion batteries and quick-charge battery technology with advanced battery/AC monitoring circuitry that has onscreen graphics and a low-battery-charge indicator.
      • Batteries provide power to the scanner for approximately 2.5 hours of continuous use. The monitoring circuitry allows the batteries to be charged when the scanner is connected to AC power, and also monitors battery-charge status.
      • Located in the console.
    • A shelf for a printer.
      • Used to secure a thermal printer to the scanner.
      • Located on the back of the console.
    • Internal digital storage.
      • Used to archive acquired data and to support software applications.
      • A 500 GB hard drive is located in the console.
    • Internal slot-load DVD-RW drive.
      • Allows data to be stored on DVD.
      • The slot is located on the front of the console under the user interface.
    • Access ports.
      • Ports allow data to be exported for archiving or review, and imported for fusion imaging and review.
      • The scanner has five USB ports, an Ethernet port, an S-Video and digital display port, a digital navigation link (DNL), and an audio jack.
  • Major software components include the following:
    • Standard imaging modes and features: conventional and harmonic B-mode imaging, M-mode, pulsed-wave (PW) Doppler, continuous-wave (CW) Doppler, PW tissue Doppler, color Doppler imaging (CDI), color tissue Doppler imaging, power Doppler imaging (PDI), and an enhanced needle visualization mode.
    • Conventional calculation and analysis packages for abdominal, cardiac, obstetric, ocular, pelvic, and superficial applications. These packages enhance data analysis and reporting.
    • Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) compatibility. DICOM is the standard for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting medical imaging data and enables connectivity of POCUS scanners with a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) for image sharing for efficient data archiving and review.
    • 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 the following:
    • 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 scanner
      • Provides entry of patient data.
      • Attaches to the scanner via a USB port.
    • Three-pedal footswitch
      • Allows activation of user-selectable controls such as freeze, print, and record.
      • Connected to a port near the bottom of the console.

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