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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
General Health Channel
Reported January 12, 2011

Pocket- Sized Heart Help

SAN DIEGO, CA (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Funny thing about us Americans, we either like our toys really big, like TV's, or really small, like our cell phones. The medical world works the same way, and now, hitting doctor’s offices across the country is an ultra sound machine the size of a smart phone. It gives doctors a snapshot of your heart in a matter of seconds.

From a fighter jet to speedboats, Clyde Davenport’s life revolves around the small stuff.

“It’s pretty good detailed work to put the radios inside,” Clyde Davenport, a congestive heart failure patient, told Ivanhoe.

So it’s fitting his doctor now uses one of the world's smallest ultra sound machine to check his heart. Beyond the standard stethoscope usage, the Vscan gives doctors a glimpse inside the heart.

“It clearly has taken out some of the guess work,” Tony Demaria, M.D., at UC San Diego, said.

Doctor Tony Demaria carries it with him all the time, viewing the size, shape and function of the heart.

“One of the major metrics in terms of heart disease is how well the heart pumps and how much blood it pumps and it’s difficult, almost impossible to get that info from a physical exam, but now with the hand held device we can see exactly how well it pumps,” Dr. Demaria explained.

He says this won’t replace traditional, larger imaging devices, but it will give doctors an easy way to test patients fast, and see any problems. Good news, since heart disease causes 26 percent of deaths in the U.S.

After three heart attacks, 14 stents and a defib, a quick pulmonary peek-a-boo gives Clyde confidence that his heart will keep running …

“It’s good therapy for me,” Davenport said.

So his boats can do the same.

Doctor Demaria says pocket ultrasounds are designed to spot possible problems not diagnose them. In addition, they’re a strictly a screening device and shouldn’t replace traditional EKG's.  One hand-held device costs 79 hundred dollars compared to an average 59 hundred-dollar EKG unit. MORE

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this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marsha Hitchcock at


Anthony Demaria, MD
Judith and Jack White Chair in Cardiology
University Of California
(619) 543-6031

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