Clarius Mobile Health, a Canadian firm, is a pioneering company specializing in portable solutions for ultrasound diagnostics. Since its debut, it has surprised and impressed us with its tiny portable ultrasounds. Clarius offers the only app-based, wireless ultrasound scanner that can be taken to the point of care even in the most rugged conditions. The multi-purpose Clarius C3 scanner comes with transducer clip-ons, transforming the convex scanner that can image heart, lungs, and deep structures, into a linear or virtual phased array scanner. Although these clip-ons are not meant to replace the dedicated Clarius L7 scanner, they offer physicians and ultrasound technicians flexibility and all the needed features on one device. We had an opportunity to speak with Laurent Pelissier, CEO of Clarius Mobile Health, to learn more about what’s driving their innovation and what the future holds for wireless ultrasound technology.
Yuriy Sarkisov, Medgadget: Please tell us a little about yourself, how did you get involved in the ultrasound market?
Laurent Pelissier: I came to Canada from France in 1999 after graduating from a MSc in Electrical Engineering. I had the idea for a PC-based ultrasound system designed for research. I built a prototype and with the help of generous angel investors and government grants I started a company called Ultrasonix and commercialized the product. I worked with a team to grow the company to generate $40 million in revenues and employed 150 people globally. In 2013, we sold Ultrasonix to a US imaging technology company called Analogic, which gave me the freedom to take some time off to spend with my family and consider my next venture.
Medgadget: How did you get the idea to create a wireless, app-based ultrasound system?
Laurent: As I contemplated my next venture, I had the opportunity to connect with a long-time friend and former colleague, Dave Willis, who was one of the original team at a company called Sonosite, which had been sold to FujiFilm in 2012. Dave and I got to talking about the future of ultrasound and what clinicians were looking for in the next generation of ultrasound. We had both heard people ask for an ultrasound system that could work with a smart phone. We decided to explore the technical challenge and here we are, about 3 years after our first discussion.
Medgadget: What do you think the future holds for app-based ultrasound?
Laurent: Smaller, app-based ultrasound systems are the future of ultrasound used at the point of patient care. Our goal at Clarius is to make ultrasound accessible to more physicians so all patients will benefit from clinicians being able to quickly see what is going on under the skin. All ultrasound manufacturers have these systems on their road maps and as more of these systems are available and more clinicians are trained to use them for various quick exams, I believe they will become a standard tool for healthcare practitioners. We hope to be at the forefront of developing smaller, even more affordable and easier to use app-based ultrasound in the future.
Medgadget: What sets the Clarius system apart from other offerings on the market?
Laurent: Clarius is the only wireless, handheld app-based ultrasound scanner that offers superior image quality and easy operation for new users. It works on both iOS and Android smart devices. There are other app-based ultrasound systems but either they don’t offer the same level of image quality, ease of use, work wirelessly, or on any OS. We also provide a unique cloud ecosystem for managing exams and devices.
Medgadget: Can you tell us about the experiences that clinicians and patients have had with the Clarius system?
Laurent: Clarius scanners have been very well received by clinicians. In general, when clinicians first hold the scanner in person, they comment about the size being larger than a traditional probe. As soon as they start scanning, they are impressed by the image quality and understand the value of having an ultra-portable all-in-one wireless scanner that offers the flexibility of working with a personal smart device.
We see interest from clinicians from various specialties. In general, they are excited by the image quality, affordability, portability and ease of use.
We don’t often hear from patients. Some clinicians have told us about patients being impressed by the technical wizardry of ultrasound that works with a phone.
Medgadget: What are the main benefits and features of Clarius scanners?
Laurent: The main benefit of the Clarius Scanner is that it puts high quality ultrasound imaging into the hands of more clinicians who know how and why to use it to improve patient care. Clarius makes the notion of a personal ultrasound system, or so-called visual stethoscope, a reality because of its affordability, ultra-portability and ease of use. Clarius offers the advantage of wirelessly connecting to one or more smart devices that most clinicians already own. It automates most common functionality so it’s quick and easy to use to scan most body parts. It comes with 2 rechargeable batteries so they can be swapped when one runs out. It can be completely immersed for high level disinfection or encased in a sterile sheath. Thanks to cloud storage and management, it helps clinicians organize images and share access for consultation, billing and teaching as needed.
Medgadget: How is Clarius keeping up with the latest telemedicine trends?
Laurent: While Clarius does not yet offer real-time telemedicine, the way we acquire and store images enables remote collaboration among medical professionals. Images can be uploaded to the Clarius Cloud and shared with a colleague in another location within seconds.
Medgadget: What’s next for Clarius Mobile Health?
Laurent: We’re busy optimizing our current features in response to customer feedback. We continue developing our cloud infrastructure to make it useful for our customers. Our R&D team is constantly working on creating better products for the future.
Flashbacks: Medgadget’s Best Medical Technologies of 2016…; Clarius Introduces Wireless Ultrasound Transducer for Your Smartphone…; Clarius Wireless, Handheld Ultrasounds Cleared in Europe…; Clarius Introduces Pocket Ultrasound for Radiologists At RSNA 2016…
Link: Clarius Mobile Health…