AXREM calls for ultrasound modules in undergraduate medical degrees

Healthcare IT trade association AXREM has a specialist focus group that represents members of the healthcare imaging supplier industry that provides most of the diagnostic medical ultrasound equipment in UK hospitals. Member companies and their employees work with hospital consultants and clinicians to enable them to deliver advanced healthcare by promoting best practice based on the knowledge of the industry providers.

This group also works alongside external organisations such as The British Medical Ultrasound Society and The Society and College of Radiographers to set best practice and standards by producing information, guidance and position papers.

The association has launched a manifesto that details the advantages of ultrasound compared with other medical imaging modalities. Ultrasound systems are increasingly ubiquitous in a contemporary healthcare environment and are often regarded as the modern day stethoscope. It is one of the most commonly performed diagnostic imaging examinations. The manifesto is divided into sections including: ‘An existing infrastructure under pressure that needs to prepare for the future’, ‘The legacy of aged ultrasound equipment’ and ‘Technology advancements in ultrasound’.

There is considerable opportunity to further develop technology within ultrasound systems, according to AXREM; for example new imaging features, reducing the size of equipment to encourage use outside traditional hospital settings, increasing connectivity, and future applications including AI that may allow for greater accuracy and diagnosis. It is calling for recognition of a sustained level of investment in the ultrasound industry in order to drive a programme in accordance with UK professional bodies to recruit, train, invest in and retain ultrasound practitioners. “It is critical that the industry can be resourced for both the more ubiquitous use of ultrasound for diagnosis and for the extension of use out of secondary care, for example community diagnostic centres,” the association says. It calls for alignment across the industry that ultrasound education and qualification should be a fundamental skill within undergraduate medical degrees in the UK. This would include the introduction of an ultrasound module within the curriculum and an entry level qualification for all disciplines.

AXREM director Sally Edgington commented: “The AXREM ultrasound special focus group has been very proactive over the last three years, and this is another example of how industry companies come together and set best practice and talk about important industry challenges.”

Published on page 11 of the November 2022 issue of RAD Magazine.

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