For the first time, parents may be able to use a phone to snap a photo of their child - before they've been born. MobiSante, the company developing an ultrasound imaging device to be used with a smartphone, launched the MobiUS Sp1 this week, David Zar, the company's co-founder, told MobiHealthNews on Monday. It's now available for purchase by medical professionals for only $7,495. Traditional ultrasound machines cost upwards of $300,000, according to the site.
The accessory, initially conceived in 2009 by Zar, a Washington University at St. Louis researcher, and Sailesh Chutani, then a researcher at Microsoft, has seen some turbulence throughout its development. Due to regulatory hurdles, even after receiving approval for commercial distribution from the Food & Drug Administration in February, MobiSante has delayed the release of their product for eight months.
The system, which takes 480 x 480-pixel images, is intended for ultrasound imaging, analysis and measurement in fetal/OB, abdominal, cardiac, pelvic, pediatric, musculoskeletal, and peripheral vessel imaging, according to the article.
"For many, this is not a replacement system," Zar said in the MobiHealthNews article. "We can also offer the full imaging solution, though, and that might appeal to smaller clinics. Our work has just begun, really.”
Because of the slow timeline, the MobiUS is only compatible with a dated phone—the Toshiba TG01, which is included with the ultrasound probe in the package. It comes loaded with an 8GB microSD memory card that can save up to 32,000 images, according to MobiSante's website. Since the ultrasound system connects via a USB 2.0 port, it's not compatible with iOS or Android devices in the U.S.
While mobile ultrasound devices aren't new, the MobiUS is the first to employ the use of a smartphone. General Electric's VScan is about the same price, but without Internet connectivity, and it can't share and receive images like the MobiUS.