Tools to Live By – One Minute Ultrasound

At the dawn of the golden age of the peripheral brain, access to information seems limitless.  Need to get a stain out of a tablecloth?  No problem, Google has 500 solutions.  Your dog’s breath smells? There’s likely a Youtube video for that.  But when it comes to the busy EP, the real information challenge is not finding something online when you’re home on the couch half-watching TV, and getting in trouble with your wife by commenting on how stupid Gray’s Anatomy really is, but finding focused, readily accessible information for the busy ED context in which it’s required. Type FAST exam into Google and it still doesn’t know if you need an overview of the current literature or a quick video on what Morrison’s space is supposed to look like.

One solution is dedicated apps on your smartphone that bundle discrete information into a coherent whole.  Unfortunately some apps are just bad and even worse than just a simple Google search, some information is just not amenable to an app, and even good apps can become cumbersome if you have hundreds on your phone you have to sift through.

Ultrasound tutorials were a natural early choice for online Emergency Medicine education and readily take advantage of video, text and audio formats. But the same problem of context still exists: is that one hour lecture on ultrasound in pregnancy really appropriate when all you want to do is review definitive signs of early pregnancy before going in to see your patient?

That’s where the new One Minute Ultrasound app finds its niche.  Mike and Matt at Ultrasound Podcast.com have created a collection of short video tutorials on many of the bread and butter ultrasound exams performed by EPs daily.  This is great for the resident doing ultrasound, but still perfecting their skills, or for the older EP who wants get more comfortable with ultrasound in their daily practice.  Its also a great quick review for EPs comfortable with ultrasound but looking for a quick refresher.

The app itself has a couple of bugs, but overall it meets the major requirements of being fast and easy to access, and it’s concise, and high yield.  Pull it out of your pocket on the subway when you have a minute or two, or before going in to see a patient for a rapid review.  A great first pass, that will no doubt get better.  Best of all, since it is free and open access there is no downside to giving it a try.  Thanks to the guys from Ultrasound Podcast for adding to our toolbox.

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