Thursday, May 21, 2020

The "SalScan" Procedural Research Project: Ultrasound Chest Monitoring of Covid+ Patient



PART 1:
In April, 2020, NYCRA's own "Cousin Sal" Banchitta (retired FF from the FDNY) recently tested positive for Coronavirus.  As a leading member of the community design team for the LUNGSCAN  program, Sal aimed to re-direct the GET CHECKED NOW! program for cancer prevention to provide alternative respiatory screening for Corona-related lung issues for emergency responders.

Sal volunteered himself to be the first test case and self-scanning trainee for LungScanning under the beta-tested REMOTE HOME-SCAN & TELE-RADIOLOGY program.  The developers hope to establish this protocol as a nationwide scanning alternative during Covid times, as it was first launched in European triage centers to identify covid-related respiratory disorders (see ITN feature). This program adapted key elements of lung ultrasound for a wider set of uses at the safety and comfort of the patient's home for regular ultrasound screening and continued monitoring.

................................................................................................................................................................

OBJECTIVES
A breakdown of goals for this procedural research program include:

* establishing a working blueprint (including scan diagrams on the torso, selected probes and frequency settings) that make up the entire LungScan process

* selecting ultrasound technology with easy-to-use controls for ANY patient

* an instructional lesson plan designed for fast & easy learning under remote patient training of probes and software

* additionally prove the strength of the firmware's user-friendly design

* confirming the effectiveness of a portable ultrasound as a self-diagnostic scanner in ANY field situation (from battlefields, the ER, an ocean liner, an ambulance or bedside/homes)

* promoting a safety-conscious program to test for contagious pathogens in the safely & comforts of one's own home without health risks from travel

* developing a solid 3-point communication system for a real-time remote diagnostic protocol; synergy between patient, trainer and radiologist

* opening many more potential patient types, disorders and scenarios for this level of remote scanning access and telemedicine

...................................................................................................................................................................

THE PLAN behind this remote scanning program is fairly straightforward in nature.

1. Bring the patient access to a reliable high-frequency PORTABLE ultrasound- the kind that can scan to the exact depths of LUNGS, HEART, LIVER and KIDNEYS.

2. Gather a test subject (Sal) to scan himself regularly within a given window of time.  In this case, Sal happens to be Covid + but has been recorded to NOT show symptoms.  Use of the ultrasound can either confirm that he is in fact asymptomatic, or may identify any hidden anomalies.

3. Have remote access to a professional ultrasound trainer (Mike Thury from Oklahoma) to operate the scanning software (using Teamviewer) and also instruct the test subject via video conferencing (Zoom) as far as how to properly use the hand held probes and the ultrasound device correctly.

4. After each scanning session, the patient and trainer shall save all daily scan images collected. Once a given number of days has been satisfied, the designated medical radiologist (Dr. Robert L. Bard, NYC) shall remote access into the device to collect/review all image files for a through analysis.

Through the use of TeleMedicine, remote access of the device and its saved files, the patient has unlimited personal use of a high frequency portable ultrasound while being remotely guided by a certified ultrasound instructor to scan specific organs of concern.  The remote LungScan project puts the patient in the drivers seat to safely monitor and receive diagnoses of their own condition.

...................................................................................................................................................................

BENEFITS FOR ALL PATIENT TYPES
Thanks to the modern upgrades in portable ultrasound technology, it is now possible for any patient undergoing treatment to track their own progress on a regular schedule.   In the case of covid-related infections & inflammation (that may appear in the Lungs, Heart, Kidneys or Liver) having personal access to a portable ultrasound and remote access to a designated clinical team is an easy and successful way to monitor one's health and condition daily.

During his training and scanning period, Sal's participation provided our program with important procedural data toward the foundation for this upcoming national screening initiative. Our program developers' goals aim to support the global use of ultrasound imaging devices for the many non-hospital applications where access to large-format devices are simply not available.  Use of the ultrasound can either confirm the patient is in fact asymptomatic, or may prove to be useful as an early detection device by identifying any hidden anomalies.













Special thanks to Terason Ultrasound and Michael Thury (scan instructor) for helping to make this project a reality.

No comments:

Post a Comment