New technology allows ultrasound images to be sent directly to your cell phone

Technology

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An ultrasound image on a patients mobile phone. | Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – New technology is making it possible to send high quality ultrasound images from a machine to a cell phone or tablet almost immediately.

“It’s not just a picture you can take home and put on your wall, it’s a picture you can have on your phone that you can send it to your computers and you can save forever,” expectant mother Heather Haas says.

The new technology is called Tricefy. It was developed by Trice Imaging Inc., to allow sonographers to text or email parents a safe link to their baby’s 3D ultrasound pictures or 4D videos. From there, images or videos can be shared with family or to social media sites.

The technology has been available at Rosemark Women Care Specialists in Idaho Falls for about a month.

“When I’ve gotten ultrasound images on my phone I literally have sent group text messages to my family right after just because it’s so exciting. I can send a picture of my little babies feet to my mom or my sisters or if I want to send it to my husband’s family,” Haas says.

Ultrasound pictures are vital during a patient’s prenatal care. Rosemark obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Steve Robison says ultrasounds are important for clinicians because they are able to look at the baby and diagnose abnormalities during a pregnancy.

Typically ultrasounds are printed on thermal paper. But over time that paper diminishes and the pictures fade.

“(These photos) not going to break down over time like a thermal picture will,” Haas says.

Robison says he remembers ultrasound technology in its infancy.

“My dad was an OBGYN so I remember when he showed me the first ultrasound it was pretty amazing because you could see the (baby). It wasn’t a great image but you could see a baby on the screen, (but) they didn’t really have the ability to print that out.”

With Tricefy, images and other media are sent to a cloud-based system, which patients have access to.

“Our sonographer can do an ultrasound on a patient. They can take that image or video whichever they’re doing, provide a link for friends and family to then connect to anywhere in the world,” Robison says.

Sonographer Darla Bakker says the technology isn’t just a benefit to patients, it is also saving doctors time and resources.

“What’s cool about this is when we send pictures from the ultrasound machine to the phone or tablet computer, it can be opened up in seconds and it can be sent to any doctor. They can talk to each other they can go over the scan anywhere in the world,” Bakker says. “I’m saving the expense of the film and the quality of the pictures are way better because they’re sent in the cloud.”

Haas, who’s expecting for the first time, says she appreciates the reassurance she gets from having her baby’s images and videos on her phone.

“If you have issues during your pregnancy, that can be really unsettling as a new mom. To have ultrasounds pictures to show your baby’s okay, and you can see that beating heart and to see it over, and over, and over again on your phone is amazing,” Haas says.