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Grant in Action: Innovative technology enhances skills of current and future medical professionals

Grant-funded equipment will used in learning activities for exams and procedures

For Jonathan dela Cruz, MD, the addition of eight Butterfly iQ ultrasound probes to the surgical skills lab at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation allows medical professionals to experience cutting-edge medicine.

The addition of these Butterfly iQs has essentially quadrupled the available ultrasounds for learning activities.”

For Jonathan dela Cruz, MD, the addition of eight Butterfly iQ ultrasound probes to the surgical skills lab at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation allows medical professionals to experience cutting-edge medicine.

“Ultrasound is thought of as the wave of the future. The Butterfly iQ is the first ultrasound on the market that uses semiconductor and chip technology to obtain ultrasound images rather than traditional crystal technology,” dela Cruz said. “The result of this innovative technology is the creation of a multi-faceted, portable and affordable ultrasound system that has potential to make bedside ultrasound as commonly used as the stethoscope.”

A $28,700 grant to SIU School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine awarded in 2019 made possible the purchase of the probes as well as three iPad Pros, seven iPads and protective cases, three Apple TVs and three rolling stands to support the probes.

dela Cruz, who is an associate professor and director of research and ultrasound with the SIU Department of Emergency Medicine, anticipates high usage of the new equipment among nurses, medical students, residents and attending physicians. He also expects them to be used in the future to teach human anatomy and physiology.

“The addition of these Butterfly iQs has essentially quadrupled the available ultrasounds for learning activities. This will only lead to more teaching sessions and the ability to run more than one ultrasound teaching session at the same time,” he said.

The new equipment will be used to teach the following exams:

    • Focused assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST exam)
    • Rapid ultrasound in shock and hypotension (RUSH exam)
    • Goal-directed echocardiography for volume responsiveness
    • BLUE point protocol for lung pathology
    • Biliary ultrasound
    • Early pregnancy ultrasound
    • Aorta assessment
    • Vascular assessment
    • Ocular ultrasound

“Currently, ultrasound is the only imaging modality that can readily show real-time physiology at the bedside,” dela Cruz said. “All of these exams allow physicians to make bedside assessments to guide their treatment decisions on critical patients or monitor their patients for chronic conditions in the outpatient setting.”

The Butterfly iQs also will be used to assist with the following procedures:

    • Pericardiocentesis
    • Thorocentesis
    • Paracentesis
    • Arthrocentesis
    • Central line placement
    • Peripheral IV placement
    • Nerve blocks

“It has been shown in the literature that using ultrasound to guide these procedures reduces the number of attempts and complication rates,” dela Cruz said. “Arming our learners with these skill sets will only lead to better patient outcomes and more optimal care.”

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