As you know the Academy of Ultrasound, LLC, has an established Echocardiography program offering online training for new Echo Techs. One of the greatest challenges is providing online students with practice and visual aids, on the performance of the actual Echocardiogram. The distance format makes this an even greater concern. To date, the Academy of Ultrasound, LLC is offering visual aids in the form of pictures, videos of Echocardiograms both performed and being performed. This has been the standard, in Online Echocardiography training since its start.
Now the good news. A company named Vita Systems has created a Virtual Echocardiography Training software to solve these concerns. This product, dubbed VitaEcho was announced on 10/24/12 at a conference in Miami, Fl. They describe the product as,
“a software platform designed to teach the mechanics of echocardiography, before a practitioner ever encounters a live patient”
The official description is,
“The VidaEcho system features a simulated 3D anatomy of the heart, and the corresponding echo image. By moving a virtual echo probe handle with a mouse, users learn how the device will interact with cardiac anatomy. The application features an intuitive user interface and highly realistic depictions of the heart’s anatomy and ultrasound, with both transesophageal (TEE) and transthoracic (TTE) modes available. The system offers preset views but can also be customized. Features also include the ability to overlay the echo image onto the 3D anatomy, so that the practitioner can internalize the translation of 3D anatomy to 2D images, a common hurdle for mastering echocardiography learning.”
So now we are beginning to get training products that can help Online Echocardiography Training programs to give thier students a visual and hands on way of developing hands on skills and begin to visualize the cardiac anatomy in 3D. This will help immensely in the Echo Students comfort before they begin the clinical portion of their Echocardiography Training.
Although the announcement of the VitaEcho system has happened, the product hasn’t become officially available just yet. Since this product is in the cloud, and software based, we at the Academy of Ultrasound, LLC are hoping the pricing will allow us to take advantage of this breakthrough in Online Echocardiography Training. Check back and we will continue to update this story as Vita Echo becomes available for use.
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By John Sheldon