Feb 232011
Authors: Jason Pohl

A portable ultrasound machine has recently been developed to conduct scientific research and give medical assistance to animals.

The Ibex portable ultrasound machine –– priced at around $15,000 –– can be taken into the elements, including dairy farms, wilderness and even ocean environments. This is an enormous progression from the bulky devices of even just 20 years ago at a fraction of the cost.

The machine was developed by the Loveland-based E.I. Medical Imaging and is the product of over 26 years of research in ultrasound technology.

“Nothing surprises me anymore,” said Charles Maloy, President of E.I. Medical Imaging, who went on to explain several of the most bizarre calls he and his team have received, ranging from salmon dropping analysis to run-away rhinos.

“You’ve got to be quick and efficient in order to perform these procedures,” he explained. “Unless your technology is with you, you’re stuck.”

Products like the Ibex are helping to revolutionize the field of veterinary medicine, and Maloy predicts a future filled with these and similar devices.

“Veterinary medicine is becoming a more mixed practice as a result of the economy,” Maloy said. “More vets will have to be able to do more with less.”

Maloy’s presentation was part of the series of speakers present at the Fort Collins Hilton near campus Wednesday evening. The event, which was part of the Northern Colorado Health Research Coalition, brought together researchers, doctors and other professionals with one topic in mind: medical imaging.

These imaging systems go well beyond the x-rays of yesterday.

Debra Gibbons, a CSU Veterinary Medicine researcher and professor, explained her research during the presentation.

“I am currently working on sodium-fluoride PET scanning on animals including dogs,” she explained. “Advances in this field of work will eventually help humans.”

Gibbons explained that, as a researcher and educator, she has three goals: teaching her students, providing quality patient care and conducting quality scientific research for the greater good.
Gibbons explained that medical imaging began with simply studying anatomy, and this was followed by a greater understanding of pathology. The present stage is one in which the functioning of body systems can truly be observed in a way never before seen.

These advances in technology and medicine have enormous potential in the medical community, and the future remains uncertain.

The presentation is part of an ongoing series put on by numerous groups in the community that seek to bring medicine, technology and CSU research to the stage to facilitate better networking. The next event is being tentatively planned for the fall semester.

Staff writer Jason Pohl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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