Halton Healthcare Adopts Cutting Edge POCUS Technology to Advance Diagnosis and Treatment for Patients

November 10, 2023

Oakville, Ontario – In recent years, point of care ultrasonography (POCUS) technology has been rapidly advancing and is now being incorporated at Halton Healthcare as an innovative way for clinicians to diagnose and treat patients faster.

Halton Healthcare has opted for Butterfly iQ+, an advanced generation of handheld POCUS device with a single probe – the actual unit used to scan the patient – that can be used for the whole body. This type of imaging can be done right at the bedside and the digital images stream directly to phones and tablets providing real time information for clinicians to help them assess patients quicker and make decisions about treatment. 

While traditional ultrasound remains the gold standard, POCUS is an additional user-friendly option to give staff and physicians answers to very specific questions, rather like an advanced stethoscope. For example, POCUS can be used to detect the presence of kidney stones, signs of lung infection, or specific cardiac conditions.

Shairoz Kherani, Director of Diagnostic Imaging & Laboratory Services, adds that it’s also a cost-effective tool. “POCUS is much less expensive than traditional ultrasound, and the probes in the devices we use have computer chips rather than crystals, so they are more robust.”

At Halton Healthcare, the POCUS devices are currently being used in the emergency department and inpatient medicine units at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and the inpatient medicine units at Milton District Hospital. These areas generally experience high volumes, and the POCUS technology enables better patient flow, which ultimately helps to reduce wait times. 

The response from physicians and staff so far has been very positive. Dr. Stephen Chin, Chief of Hospital Medicine, says, “Bedside ultrasound can clarify uncertain findings of the physical exam, identify important conditions in the unwell patient, and provide image guidance that improves the success and safety of many procedures in the acute care setting, particularly when time is of utmost importance for diagnosis or treatment.”