KANGAR: If there is a tool that can increase efficiency and lighten the burden of overworked frontliners, shouldn’t we embrace it?

According to Hospital Tuanku Fauziah (HTF) advanced acute internal medicine consultant, Prof Datuk Seri Dr Paras Doshi (pix), a pocket-sized ultrasound device is already in use in Malaysian hospitals as a diagnostic tool for the early detection of Covid-19 complications.

He said that it is smartphone and tablet compatible, and gives doctors more freedom of movement.

Prof Paras said patients don’t have to be sent for an imaging test of their organs -- like the heart, lungs and kidney – using bulky equipment like a computerised tomography (CT) scanner because the portable device serves the purpose.

He said it reduces the risk of frontliners and patients catching the virus because the diagnosis can be done on the spot.

The Malaysian Advanced Acute Internal Medicine and Ultrasound Society (MAAIMUSS) president said a quicker diagnosis can reduce ward admissions.

“Hence, only patients who need treatment, like Covid-19 patients, will be admitted,” he said.

Prof Paras said HTF is among the pioneers of this technology and has seen ward admissions from the emergency department drop by 62 per cent compared to the past.

“It hasn’t just reduced overcrowding in the ward, but cost and hospitalisation time too, allowing resources to be used for Covid-19 patients,” he said.

Prof Paras said MAAIMUSS, which is under the royal patronage of Perlis Raja Muda, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, has been entrusted with conducting training webinars to show doctors how to use the device.

He said the portable device would come in handy for hospitals in the Malaysian interior.

“For example, if there is a Covid-19 case in a remote hospital in Lahad Datu in Sabah, the medical officer can make an early diagnosis without needing to transfer the patient to a bigger hospital,” Prof Paras said.

He said the results of the examination can then be shared with a specialist doctor to come up with a treatment plan.