Israeli home ultrasound plugs into a smartphone. (Courtesy) (Courtesy)

Israeli start-up gets approval for first ever home pregnancy ultrasound that plugs into your smartphone.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

A new ultrasound machine developed by an Israeli high-tech startup lets pregnant women stay at home and perform their own “tele-ultrasound” that gets uploaded by smartphone for an expert to check, the company announced this week.

The handheld device made by PulseNmore enables pregnant women to perform at-home ultrasound scans, and receive feedback from a physician or sonographer, limiting the need for hospital and doctor visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The device has already received approval for use in Israel and the EU and Clalit Health Services, Israel’s largest HMO signed a multi-year agreement to purchase tens of thousands of the units.

“At home tele-ultrasound scanning is a major leap forward in digital medicine and prenatal health,” said PulseNmore founder and CEO Dr. Elazar Sonnenschein.

“We have successfully miniaturized the traditional ultrasound system to create a solution that is both affordable and accessible for expectant families,” Sonnenschein said.

The device will give expectant mothers fast response and help Clalit save resources from visits to emergency rooms and doctors by concerned mothers when the symptoms they are worried about are just normal features of pregnancy.

“Our solution provides vital information to healthcare providers to determine if a baby is healthy, helping expectant mothers have peace of mind at home and avoid unnecessary visits to the ER,” he said.

The PulseNmore device docks with a smartphone and guides the mother through the scanning process while she passes the device over her belly. The ultrasound images are then transmitted to their healthcare professional who reviews the scans remotely off-line or in real-time using telemedicine platforms.

The doctor or ultrasound technician can then reassure parents that all is well, or instruct them on appropriate next steps, if necessary.

PulseNmore noted that their new device is especially relevant during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing expectant mothers to remain at home and not risk exposure by traveling for an ultrasound.

“In today’s connected world, women and their partners want and deserve to know about the well-being of their baby without having to visit the emergency room. PulseNmore makes that possible,” said Leor Wolff, head of eHealth at Clalit.

“Clalit’s physicians reviewed more than 1,300 self-scans in our initial study with PulseNmore and clearly saw fetal heart activity, movement and amniotic fluid in 95% of the scans. We are confident that PulseNmore’s device will support our healthcare professionals during COVID-19 and beyond, while enhancing the pregnancy experience and satisfaction for our members.”

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