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Convertible ultrasound system embarks on a world cruise

Zonare Medical Systems : 22 January, 2008  (New Product)
A ultrasound system from Zonare Medical Systems has set sail on the USS Amsterdam, a flag ship of Holland America Line, which left Florida’s Ft Lauderdale, on January 4, 2008 for its 114-day around the world trip.
Under the direction of Carter Hill, MD, medical director of Holland America, the system, based on Zone Sonography technology, will be used in support of diagnosing passengers in need of medical attention during the cruise. The outcome of the four-month study could determine future use of Ultrasound imaging on passenger cruises.

'When medical emergencies arise during a cruise of this length, sometimes we must decide if we need to divert from our set itinerary to the closest port offering appropriate medical facilities,' said Hill. 'We want to do what is best for the patient. With advanced diagnostic technology available, such as the system and trained providers, we should be able to make more informed decisions of these kinds as to whether we can treat a patient aboard and a diversion is unnecessary.'

Hill specifically wanted to use the system for the study due to the flexible nature provided by its Convertible Ultrasound platform and premium image quality. Zone Sonography technology has enabled Zonare Medical Systems to bring its patented Convertible Ultrasound platform to the industry providing premium image quality and performance together with greater portability at an attractive price to value ratio compared to conventional Ultrasound systems.

Clinicians are able to convert the system, at the touch of a button, from a full-featured, cart-based system into a premium compact Ultrasound system, optimising its versatility in a variety of clinical settings, without sacrificing image quality or performance.

'If a patient feels too ill to come to the ship's infirmary, the system can easily be taken to the state room and the exam conducted there,' said Hill. 'As future advances occur, we can also upgrade the system to provide the latest clinical applications and continue to offer state-of-the-art Ultrasound imaging for our passengers. This is a tremendous economical and clinical benefit.'

Unlike most other HCU systems, the system's Zone Sonography software based architecture allows its performance to continue to improve as greater processing power becomes available. System upgrades can be downloaded via the internet, allowing for fast, convenient advances in clinical capabilities, enabling clinicians to cost-effectively maintain a state of the art premium Ultrasound system.

Hill, a graduate of the Universities of Minnesota and Washington, has been practicing emergency medicine for 28 years and has headed up Holland America's medical operations for 20 years. The cruise includes passage through the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, Asia, the Black Sea and Europe before returning to Ft Lauderdale.

'This is an exciting new undertaking for Zonare which perfectly fits the scenario of a Convertible Ultrasound platform with premium image quality,' said Donald Southard, president and CEO for Zonare. 'The passengers on this trip will be provided excellent medical care under Dr Hill's direction which will be supported by the latest Ultrasound imaging technology. We will be following Dr Hill's journey with great interest.'

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