It was a day much like any other for 25-year-old Billy Roberts. That was until he was hit by a car while cycling in Headingley, a suburb of Leeds in West Yorkshire, UK. Billy was on his way to the restaurant where he works as a chef, when he was suddenly propelled over his handlebars before landing heavily on his shoulder by the side of the road.
After feeling his shoulder ‘pop’, Billy contacted his insurance company who referred him to Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon Professor Len Funk, a leading specialist in shoulder injuries. Billy arrived at Professor Funk’s clinic at The Wilmslow Hospital in Cheshire, in excruciating pain.
“Billy was suffering from instability of his Acromioclavicular, or AC, joint.” explained Professor Funk. “Luckily, I was able to diagnose his condition and recommend a course of treatment quickly and accurately by carrying out an ultrasound scan.”
Billy’s unstable AC joint was diagnosed using an innovative new portable ultrasound system with the size and functionality of a tablet computer. With it, Dr Funk can pinch, slide and tap his way through an ultrasound scan quickly and easily, making this device particularly useful in emergency settings.
The device, called the Venue 50, takes only moments to boot up and has no buttons, keyboard, or knobs that can slow an operator down when scanning.
“Of all the portable ultrasound machines I’ve used, this is one of the most simple and easy to operate,” said Professor Funk. “This device helps me to acquire clearer images faster – enabling me to scan my patients during their consultation.”
Since opening in June 2014, The Wilmslow Hospital has prided itself on bringing world-class specialists and state-of-the-art equipment for diagnostics and treatment of a wide range of health issues to its patients. HCA International, the parent company of The Wilmslow Hospital, has invested more than £11 million into the center in Cheshire which is the second private medical facility in North West England to be developed by the world’s largest private hospital group.
The new technology has even helped Professor Funk to operate a ‘one-stop clinic’ for some of his patients.
“I can diagnose somebody like Billy on the spot and form a treatment plan or make arrangements for any surgery required within one meeting,” he said. “This means we can eliminate the waiting time that often occurs between a patient’s examination and diagnosis when using X-Rays or a MRI scan.”
“Besides costing a lot more, these methods only provide static images. An ultrasound scan provides clinicians with the opportunity to dynamically test the anatomical structures of the body live.”
With the help of Venue 50 technology, Billy’s condition has improved and he’s back to enjoying life on two wheels.