Vaishali Kamat

Vscan Access is a simple, small, portable ultrasound device developed by GE Healthcare, to address SDG3 goals by tackling challenges in maternal healthcare delivery and enhance pregnancy management in primary and low resource settings. It enables midwives to detect complications and assess pregnancy risks early, providing antenatal care to mothers who need it most. The product has won multiple ...
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Vscan Access is a simple, small, portable ultrasound device developed by GE Healthcare, to address SDG3 goals by tackling challenges in maternal healthcare delivery and enhance pregnancy management in primary and low resource settings. It enables midwives to detect complications and assess pregnancy risks early, providing antenatal care to mothers who need it most. The product has won multiple awards, including the prestigious iF Design Award in 2017.
How does your innovation work?
A user-centered design approach was taken for the development of Vscan Access, soliciting inputs from midwives, obstetricians, government officials, and human factors specialists, focusing on enabling new, ultrasound novice users, to learn quickly and use the product effectively to conduct basic screening. Vscan Access is based on a tablet computer and supports a convex probe for abdominal scannin. It has an intuitive touch screen based user interface with streamlined workflows, presets, and local language capability. Built-in real time coaching helps new users scan accurately and the ability to play e-learning videos helps with patient education. The device delivers good image quality, ability to store and transfer images via Bluetooth, as well as track fetal growth and estimate gestational age. The device has been designed to withstand power surges/spikes, can be operated on a battery and also supports solar chargers. Its small size and reasonable weight makes it possible to carry the device easily.
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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

Vscan Access is a small, portable ultrasound device designed for obstetric scanning, as part of GE’s commitment to develop solutions for maternal health. The innovation supports SDG goals 3 (3.1 ,3.2 and 3.8) and SDG goal 17 by enabling governments' goals of achieving universal health coverage due to its ability to be used by community healthcare workers in rural areas. It was specifically designed to enable earlier identification of at-risk pregnancies so that they can be addressed to reduce the mortality rates.
Yes, primary health care workers and midwives are utilizing the product in Burma, Ghana, Indonesia, Philippines, etc. We also have pilot projects underway with local governments in Ethiopia, South Africa, and a large USAID collaboration in Nigeria where the product will be deployed and its impact will be further evaluated
Several peer reviewed journal articles have demonstrated that ultrasound can enable task shifting to midwives for basic scanning, encourage women to seek antenatal care, and strengthen the referral system. With the appropriate training and suitable product availability, a significant impact can be made on maternal health in rural, low resource regions around the world, addressing the SDG 3 goals. Vscan Access provides primary healthcare centers the ability to • Detect complications early and make referrals when required • Track fetal growth • Estimate gestational age and plan deliveries • Share data with referral sites or patients A study was conducted with the Ifakara Institute in Tanzania (see attached report), with a different device from GE’s portable ultrasound product family (prior to the development of the current innovation). The project trained health workers in rural Tanzania to conduct obstetric screening ultrasound exams. The project showed conclusive impact with the use of portable ultrasound in detecting pregnancy complications, increasing referral rates for high risk pregnancies, which in turn can reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates. A similar project was also completed in Indonesia in 2013 as part of the country’s Pencerah Nusantara initiative, which showed increased antenatal visits after introduction of ultrasound scanning (only 3% drop out rate compared with 10% previously) and 90% deliveries in health care facilities due to improved perception in the communities and accessibility to trained healthcare workers. Based on these study results, we believe, Vscan Access, which is a purpose-designed product for these use environments and application, can have similar, if not better impact.
Registered in Indiain India

Focus Areas:

Health and Human Centered Design

Health and Human Centered DesignSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Indonesia, Nigeria, Ghana and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Indonesia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia and MyanmarSEE LESS

5
Countries Implemented In

Mission and Vision

Once deployed in primary care settings, we expect between 8 and 15 women to receive obstetric scanning using Vscan Access every day. Our project that is just starting in Nigeria, which will see more than 600 units deployed, will therefore impact ~5000-9000 women each day, in the 5 states covered by the project. The overall impact that the product could have is therefore quite significant.

Competitive Advantage

The key value proposition of this innovation is to make quality maternal care available in low resource settings by equipping primary health care workers and midwives to conduct basic obstetric screening in the community. It allows task shifting to occur and reduces burden on physicians in tertiary clinics while providing women access to care closer to where they live. We believe this obstetric scanning and access to antenatal care will lead to reduction in pregnancy complications, maternal and infant death rates. Vscan Access addresses key challenges in maternal care faced by emerging economies around the world, viz. women delay getting care due to lack of access, shortage of physicians in high mortality, low resource areas, lack of tools to detect complications and make referrals, as well as high cost and fragility of typical medical devices. Vscan Access overcomes these challenges via its simple and durable design, which provides excellent clinical utility at an affordable price.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We are working closely with the Ministries of Health in various countries in Africa to support their efforts of increasing access to primary care, especially maternal care, in rural areas. Along with the product, we also provide an intensive education and training program to build ultrasound skills among new users (e.g. midwives) and enable task shifting. In addition, a monitoring and evaluation component provides support to the new users in their clinics and helps build confidence while they continue to deliver care. We are also working with academic clinicians to conduct research studies that can generate further evidence for the use of simple ultrasound devices like Vscan Access in the primary care setting.
We will be continuing to work on developing Vscan Access further. We aim to add functionality like wireless connectivity to the product so that images can be shared with clinicians and assistance or second opinions can become available to midwives.

Milestone

Jan 2015
New Country Implemented In
Indonesia
Date Unknown
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Ethiopia
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Ghana
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Nigeria

Supporting Materials

Swanson - The diagnostic impact of screening obstetric ultrasound.pdf
Effects of U-S scanning ANC- cohort study.pdf