Focus on India – January 2012

ASE Global_India web banner top

Quick Links:
GE Healthcare Vscan  |  NC Firm Core Sound Imaging Provides Transmission Solution
On-site VolunteersWorldwide Echo Readers  |  Thank You From Medanta Medicity in Delhi  |

ASE Global: Focus on India – PRESS RELEASE
January 23-24, 2012

February 2012 – A partnership between The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) and GE Healthcare (GE) utilized technological innovations in the field to bring cardiovascular ultrasound to an underserved population in rural India. Sponsored by ASE, nine US-based cardiovascular sonographers traveled to a remote location in northwest India in late January, where an estimated 12 million people had gathered for a meditation camp. The sonographers and their India-based physician counterparts from Medanta Medicity Hospital in Delhi used technology to provide education to local clinicians and free imaging services on January 23 and 24 to 1,030 pre-identified people.

TMThe project – ASE Global: Focus on India – elevated cardiovascular ultrasound to a new level, taking it out of the lab to people who can benefit from increased access to the technology. “The first ASE Global initiative was a historic event and the first ever of its magnitude for the Society,” said Dr. Partho Sengupta, India liaison for the ASE International Relations Task Force and leader of the project. “It engaged physicians, sonographers and engineers across the globe at once for many different reasons – humanitarian, cultural and educational exchange, global health research, new technology evaluation and patient care applications.”  Dr. Sengupta, who is an Associate Professor and Director of Cardiovascular Ultrasound Research at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine and an incoming ASE board member, added that the project “ushered in a new and exciting era that connects point-of-care ultrasound performed at remote underserved regions with specialists consulting from around the world.”

Clinicians leveraged GE Healthcare technology, including the Vscan* pocket-sized visualization tool, to facilitate the acquisition of the images and provide an educational and awareness vehicle for India-based physicians. The Vscan systems were used on loan from GE Healthcare, which also provided an educational grant for the project to help support travel for sonographers. Vscan leverages ultrasound technology to provide clinicians with an immediate, non-invasive method to help obtain visual information about what is happening inside the body. In remote areas, as well as in today’s clinical setting, the ability to take a “quick look” inside the body may not only help clinicians detect disease earlier but also better triage patients.

Seventy-five board-certified physicians at locations worldwide, ranging from major U.S. and Canadian hospitals to countries such as Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece and Saudi Arabia, were part of the image consultation. Several physicians attending ASE’s 22nd Annual Echo Hawaii conference also participated in the consultations.

“In this way,” said Dr. Patricia Pellikka, MD, FASE, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Medical School and director of Mayo Clinic’s Echocardiography Laboratory, who is President-Elect of ASE, “the expertise of members of the ASE was shared with more than 1000 patients with suspected heart disease who would likely never have had access to echocardiograms.  Physicians were able to help without leaving their practices, and sonographers from the U.S., specially trained in acquiring the images, were able to offer the one-on-one patient care that makes this technique so unique.”  Dr. Pellikka also noted that “With technology like Vscan in the hands of trained professionals, echocardiography is portable, and can be helpful in heart assessment.”

“The ASE Focus on India project was an incredible experience – not only in its mission to bring ultrasound technology to the most rural areas of India – but in the collaborative spirit it fostered between physicians all over the world,” said Al Lojewski, General Manager, Cardiovascular Ultrasound for GE Healthcare. “These elements combined to bring a level of care never before available in this rural area in India, and demonstrated that with the help of technology, access to care to those in need can be boundaryless. GE is honored to have been part of this important project.”

Cardiovascular disease is a growing concern in India, recently having replaced communicable diseases as the country’s leading killer. According to Dr. R.R. Kasliwal, Chairman of Clinical & Preventive Cardiology and the Community Outreach and Education Program at Medanta Heart Institute, most of those affected live in rural areas.

“ASE is proud to have been involved in such a meaningful project.  Many of these patients had not had access to contemporary medicine, and in this one encounter may change their lives,” said ASE President James Thomas, MD, FASE, FACC, Charles and Lorraine Moore Chair of Cardiovascular Imaging at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.  “At the time of this mission, I was chairing ASE’s Echo Hawaii conference, and members of our faculty were able to consult on 99 studies. Many cases were of severe heart disease, including valve dysfunction.  It was humbling to realize the impact we could have from 8000 miles away.”

*Trademark of General Electric Company

North Carolina Based Firm Provides Transmission Solution – PRESS RELEASE

ASE collaborated with neighboring NC-based firm Core Sound Imaging, Inc. to use their web-based Studycast® system to send the acquired images from India to readers all over the world, and then back to India for follow-up care.  During the medical camp, ASE-member sonographers acquired the images, mimicking the state of the practice in the U.S., where the medical system relies on the expertise of sonographers to assure that the images are correctly acquired. Studycast® is cloud-based, which allowed ASE-member physicians at numerous hospitals in the United States and around the world to read the images and send their reports back to physicians in India for further follow-up and care.

The collaboration was a good fit, according to Dr. Partho Sengupta, leader and organizer of the medical camp project.  “When we met the team from Core Sound Imaging in 2011, the challenges for the India Camp were manifold, particularly for developing a unique platform that could train and communicate with physicians here and overseas and transcend time zones and geographical boundaries. We are so pleased with the enthusiasm and team effort that made this historical event a technological reality.”

“This is a great opportunity to make people think about imaging and collaboration in a whole new way. We’ve never before been able to work on such a global level,” said Laurie Smith of Core Sound Imaging, which provided its Studycast™ Web-based transmission solution, which allows physicians to read ultrasound images anywhere, as their donation to the project.

Seventy-five board-certified physicians at locations worldwide, ranging from major U.S. and Canadian hospitals to countries such as Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece and Saudi Arabia, interpreted the images. Several physicians attending ASE’s 22nd Annual Echo Hawaii conference participated in the consultations. “Remote assessment in real time allows you to do many things, such as teaching sonographers how to improve the quality of their images or focus on certain aspects of a particular examination, leading to better quality,” explained Michael H. Picard, MD, FASE, ASE past president and Director of Clinical Echocardiography at Massachusetts General Hospital. “But the real excitement generated by this project is around the fact that echocardiographic exams can be performed at almost any site in the world, and experts recruited to weigh in on complicated cases that some may only see once in a lifetime.”

“The technological achievement of this event cannot be overstated.  In just two days, these exams were digitized, uploaded to the Internet “cloud,” and interpreted by dozens of volunteer readers all over the world, usually within eight hours of acquisition,” said ASE President James Thomas. “Given the 15.5 hour time difference between India and Hawaii, many of these studies were interpreted even before they were performed!”

The focused echo reports completed by ASE-member physicians have been distributed back to physicians in India via Internet, where follow-up care is now being coordinated where needed.  ASE is also planning to compile the findings into a manuscript within the coming months.

India Medical Camp On-Site Volunteers

Our on-site volunteers gave ASE their gifts of time and expertise for this humanitarian effort.  Thank you!
David Adams, RCS, RDCS, FASE – Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
Ingrid Altamar, BS – Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York
Samir Arora – Duke Center for Documentary Studies, Durham, North Carolina
Manish Bansal, MD, DNB, FASE – Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon, India
Barry Canaday, MS, RN, RDCS, RCS, FASE – Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, OregonDay-4---58
Chackochan PT
– GE Healthcare
LeaAnne Dantin – GE Healthcare
Drew Diaz – Houston, Texas
Ashish Duggal – GE Healthcare
Adi Hirsh – GE Healthcare
Madhavi Kadiyala, MD – Saint Francis Hospital, Roslyn, New York
Georgeanne Lammertin, MBA, RDCS, RCS, FASE – University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
Puneet Maheshwari, MD, India
Sue Maisey, MBA, RDCS, RCS, FASE – St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Houston, Texas
Rahul Mehrotra, MD, DNB – Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon, India
Bharatbhushan Patel, RDCS, RVS, RDMS, FASE – Hoboken University Medical Center, Hoboken, New Jersey
Rhonda Price, American Society of Echocardiography, Raleigh, North Carolina
Partho P. Sengupta, MBBS, MD, DM, FASE – Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York
Shantanu Sengupta, MD, FASE – Sengupta Hospital & Research Institute, Nagpur, India
Vinay Sabharwal – GE Healthcare
Tushar Sharma – GE Healthcare
Laurie Smith – Studycast by Core Sound Imaging, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina
Mark Smith – Studycast by Core Sound Imaging, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina
Minnie Thykattil, RDCS – University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
Thomas Van Houten, RDCS, FASE – Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Robert Young, RDCS – Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Photo:  Right, sonographer Bharat Patel at work.

India Medical Camp Readers
Many thanks to the 75 board-certified level 2 readers at locations worldwide, who interpreted the images for follow-up care by local physicians in India:
Riyadh Abu-Sulaiman, MD, FASE, King Abdulaziz Cardiac Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Maysoon Alsandook, MD, Los Angeles, CA
Federico Asch, MD, FASE, Washington Hospital Center/MedStar Health Research Institute, Washington, DC
Thomas Behrenbeck, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Nicole Bhave, MD, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL
David Brabham, DO, CCALLP, Amarillo, TX
Richard Butcher, MD, Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA
Benjamin Byrd, III, MD, FASE, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Michael Chrissoheris, MD, Hygeia Hospital, Glifada, Greece
Namsik Chung, MD, FASE, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Roger Click, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Bibiana Cujec, MD, FASE, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
John Dent, MD, FASE, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA
Milind Desai, MD, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
Dennis DeSilvey, MD, Waldo Cardiovascular Medicine, Belfast, ME
Hisham Dokainish, MD, FASE, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Raul Espinosa, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
John Fornace, DO, FASE, PMA Cardiology Center, Limerick, PA
William Freeman, MD, FASE, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Burton Friedman, MD, Scottsdale, AZ
Julius Gardin, MD, FASE, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ
Steven Goldstein, MD, MedStar Health Research Institute, Washington, DC
Aasha Gopal, MD, FASE, St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, NY
Paul Grayburn, MD, Baylor Health Care System, Dallas, TX
David Gregg, MD, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Anand Haridas, MD, Comprehensive Cardiology Consultants, Langhorne, PA
Tom Hilton, MD, Jacksonville Heart Center, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Clair Hixson, MD, The Heart Center, Kingsport, TN
Krasimira Hristova, MD, National Heart Hospital-Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria
Leng Jiang, MD, FASE, Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University, Springfield, MA
Garvan Kane, MD, FASE, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Bijoy Khandheria, MD, FASE, Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, WI
James Kirkpatrick, MD, FASE, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Allan Klein, MD, FASE, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
Jonathan Lindner, MD, FASE, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
David Maisuradze, MD, Aversi Clinic, Rustavi, Georgia
Sunil Mankad, MD, FASE, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
David McCarty, MBBCh, MRCP, London Health Sciences Centre, London, ON, Canada
Robert McCully, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Rebecca McFarland, MD, Louisville Cardiology, LaGrange, KY
Robert McNamara, MD, FASE, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Laxmi Mehta, MD, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Rowlens Melduni, MD, FASE, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Andrew Moore, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Tasneem Naqvi, MD, FASE, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Natesa Pandian, MD, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Madhukar Pandya, MD, Jersey City, NJ
Ayan Patel, MD, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Patricia Pellikka, MD, FASE, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Jessica Pena, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Michael Picard, MD, FASE, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Thomas Porter, MD, FASE, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Min Pu, MD, PhD, FASE, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston-Salem, NC
Jyothy Puthumana, MD, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
Miguel Quinones, MD, Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, Houston, TX
Peter Rahko, MD, FASE, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Sabeena Ramrakhiani, MD, FASE, Lutheran Health Network, Lutheran Medical Group, Fort Wayne, IN
Aleksandr Rovner, MD, FASE, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH
Lawrence Rudski, MD, FASE, Jewish General Hospital, Cote St Luc, QC, Canada
Zainab Samad, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
James Seward, MD, FASE, EchoMetrics, Rochester, MN
Bharat Shah, MD, FASE, Burbank, CA
David Silverman, MD, FASE, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT
Vincent Sorrell, MD, FASE, University of Arizona, Sarver Heart Center, Tucson, AZ
Kirk Spencer, MD, FASE, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL
John Szawaluk, MD, The Ohio Heart & Vascular Center, Cincinnati, OH
Alan Taylor, II, MD, Cardiology Partners, Arlington, TX
Paaladinesh Thavendiranathan, MD, The Ohio State University Ross Heart Hospital, Columbus, OH
James Thomas, MD, FASE, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
Hector Villarraga, MD, FASE, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Zuyue Wang, MD, FASE, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
Kevin Wei, MD, FASE, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Richard Weiss, MD, FASE, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
Justina Wu, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Beverly Yamour, MD, Washington Court House, OH
A special note of thanks to Steve Hartman of Core Sound Imaging and Andrea Van Hoever of ASE for making sure the images got from India to our readers and then back to India!

Dear Dr. Sengupta,

I wish to take this opportunity to thank you, Rhonda and the entire ASE team for giving me (and Medanta) the wonderful opportunity to participate in this historic meeting. I can not over-state how valuable this meeting scientifically was and how grateful we feel to have been part of this. At the same time, I also want to emphasize on another aspect that made this entire event even more significant for us. It gave us an opportunity to host, here in India, a wonderful group of individuals, many of whom were visiting this country for the first time. Although the living conditions here are tougher and the schedule during this trip was extremely hectic, I still believe that the entire ASE team found this trip enjoyable and have taken back nice memories of this country.

Kind regards,
Manish Bansal, MD, FASE
Medanta Medicity, Delhi

Photo right:  Members of the ASE Focus on India volunteer group and representatives of Coresound Imaging met with physicians at Medanta Medicity Hospital during their visit to Delhi for medical camp training and a professional exchange.  In center (white coats), Dr. Naresh Trehan, Founder Chairman of Medanta Medicity Hospital, and Dr. R.R. Kasliwal, Chairman of Clinical & Preventive Cardiology, Community Outreach and Education Program for Medanta Heart Institute.  On the right front are Manish Bansal, MD, FASE and Rahul Mehrotra, MD. Drs. Bansal and Mehrotra, Medanta physicians, are active ASE members and traveled with the group to the camp location, where they served as cardiology consultants.


Observations from participants:

…the broader picture of the value of our experiences will come from what we brought back home within each of us.  This value will emerge and grow as we share what we saw, what we did, and what we learned.  It will come through the educational value in illustrating not only what we did as individuals and as an organization, but in demonstrating that we are all part of a global culture.  We will share that, in addition to our individual work endeavors, recognizing that as health care professionals we have responsibilities that extend beyond national borders.
Barry Canaday, RN, MS, RDCS, RCS, FASE
Oregon Institute of Technology
Klamath Falls, OR

“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.  And we all did something together.”
Madhavi Kadiyala, MD
Saint Francis Hospital, Roslyn, NY

The entire trip provides not just medical insight but also a humanitarian and cultural education.  I will always remember the people, sights and sounds of this trip.  Thinking that one knows of other cultures and then truly experiencing the lives they have was an “eye opener.”
Georgeanne Lammertin, MBA, RDCS, RCS, FASE
University of Chicago

This medical mission gave me the opportunity to use my education and training in the service of people that have limited access to the diagnostic services that we take for granted. Our patients said “thank you” in languages I didn’t understand, but their smiles and hugs were easily understood. I am grateful for the opportunity to go.
Robert Young, RDCS
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

The journey was long … a 14-hour flight to Delhi and then another 7 hours by car to the medical camp.  But oh what an incredible journey it was!
Rhonda Price
Chief Standards Officer, ASE


ASE Global_India web banner bottom