Intelligent Network for Point-of-Care Ultrasound and The Rural PoCUS Strategy
Patients in rural areas of British Columbia must often travel to larger centres to access diagnostic services. Intelligent Network for Point-of-Care Ultrasound (IN PoCUS) equips rural healthcare practitioners with a Wi-Fi-enabled handheld ultrasound probe and IN PoCUS training for use in their local and remote community clinics and emergency departments. This expands practitioners’ ability to diagnose select conditions in a timely manner in low-resource settings, much closer to patients’ homes. In addition to building local imaging capacity in rural BC, IN PoCUS practitioners are also building an anonymized database
of ultrasound images, called “picture archiving and communication systems” (PACS), for provincial reference and quality assurance.
The Rural POCUS Strategy aims to incorporate the learnings, relationships and gains made throughout the IN PoCUS project to support and inform the creation of a rural, province wide plan to make POCUS available to everyone practising and living in a rural, remote or Indigenous community across BC, therefor increasing access to care, betterment of provider and patient relationships, and the overall health of individuals.
Making a Difference
PoCUS has been welcomed with open arms in rural British Columbia.
“While the IN PoCUS project has come to an end, the connections and linkages it has created will continue to live on in other RCCbc initiatives, such as the RTVS group, the Rural POCUS Strategy, and the Echo project. We anticipate continued interest and growth in the already POCUS curious, rural landscape of BC,” says Dr. Virginia Robinson, who leads IN PoCUS.
Dr. Lori Adamson, a general practitioner in Salmon Arm who attended one of the RTVS PoCUS Practice sessions was happy to be involved. She says: “It is really nice to be able to access valuable and applicable skills in ultrasound, no matter where I live in British Columbia.”