The use of pocket-size imaging devices: a position statement of the European Association of Echocardiography

Eur J Echocardiogr. 2011 Feb;12(2):85-7. doi: 10.1093/ejechocard/jeq184. Epub 2011 Jan 7.


Pocket-size imaging devices are a completely new type of echo machines which have recently reached the market. They are very cheap, smartphone-size hand-held echo machines with limited technical capabilities. The aim of this European Association of Echocardiography (EAE) position paper is to provide recommendations on the use of pocket-size imaging devices in the clinical arena by profiling the educational needs of potential users other than cardiologists experts in echo. EAE recommendations about pocket-size imaging devices can be summarized in: (1) pocket-size imaging devices do not provide a complete diagnostic echocardiographic examination. The range of indications for their use is therefore limited. (2) Imaging assessment with pocket-size imaging devices should be reported as part of the physical examination of the patient. Image data should be stored according to the applicable national rules for technical examinations. (3) With the exception of cardiologists who are certified for transthoracic echocardiography according to national legislation, specific training and certification is recommended for all users. The certification should be limited to the clinical questions that can potentially be answered by pocket-size devices. (4) The patient has to be informed that an examination with the current generation of pocket-size imaging devices does not replace a complete echocardiogram.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiology / instrumentation
  • Cardiology / methods
  • Cardiology / standards
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Echocardiography / instrumentation*
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Echocardiography / trends
  • Equipment Design
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Miniaturization / instrumentation*
  • Societies, Medical*