Tablet Ultrasound System Introduced in Africa by Philips

Royal Philips unveiled its new ultra-mobile ultrasound system VISIQ to the Kenyan market during the Nairobi leg of its annual pan-African Cairo to Cape Town Roadshow.

Currently in its fifth consecutive year, the roadshow enables Philips to engage in dialogue with customers, governments, NGOs and media to ascertain a better understanding of each country's unique requirements and to develop relevant technology to support their needs on maternal and infant care.


The size of a tablet, the VISIQ is the first ultra-mobile system from Philips. It provides high quality images for expectant mothers wherever care is taking place. VISIQ exemplifies Philips commitment to more cost effective, simplified, patient-focused health care innovations with high clinical performance.

By launching this new system in Kenya, Philips continues to demonstrate its dedicated support to the Kenyan Ministry of Health in its mission to reduce child mortality rates, improve maternal health, meet the UN Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5 and revitalise Kenya's health infrastructure as part of Kenya's Vision2030.

Maternal Screening Allows for Early Detection of Complications
According to the Philips Fabric of Africa trends report, women in Africa are at significant risk of premature death, with particular high mortality rates recorded in pregnancy. Women in semi-urban and rural areas across Kenya (in fact all of Africa) often die due to preventable complications during child birth as they have no access to ultrasound screenings to detect critical conditions. Many of these deaths can be diagnosed with basic imaging technology.

One of the benefits of VISIQ is that it is portable and easy to use so it's available for expectant mothers in remote areas who wouldn't otherwise have access to this type of innovative technology. "It makes me proud to see how Philips' cost-effective, easy to operate ultrasound systems can make a real difference in Africa. It shows that meaningful innovations can contribute to saving people's lives," says Peter van de Ven, Vice President & General Manager, Philips Healthcare Africa. "Improving access to healthcare is high on the Philips agenda in Africa and we are very eager to contribute to the Vision2030 goals of the Kenyan government to improve access to quality care for all Kenyans. VISIQ allows clinicians to provide ultrasound in a variety of clinical environments, offering soon-to-be parents the comfort of having regular pre-natal check-ups."


Designed for the Needs of the Kenyan Market
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diagnostic imaging is crucial in healthcare. Many countries in the developing world cannot afford to purchase expensive high technology imaging equipment despite the urgent need to use imaging resources in these countries.1 "There is a growing global focus on cost effective systems, smaller footprints and imaging equipment which is both easier to operate but has improved clinical functionality. The Philips VISIQ has been specifically designed with this in mind and embodies Philips' image quality legacy, driving innovation and efficiency in ultrasound imaging. VISIQ provides high quality images for quick and reliable diagnostic decision making," summarises, Peter van de Ven.


VISIQ's unique combination of mobility, ease of use and image quality, will enable clinicians to perform ultrasound examinations across a variety of clinical settings. Small outpatient clinics or community centres can carry out comprehensive obstetric and abdominal scans themselves rather than referring patients to regional ultrasound centres. This enables fast diagnosis and treatment. Approximately ten times smaller than a traditional ultrasound machine and with reduced energy consumption, VISIQ can also be used in community care programs in remote rural areas for screening, triage and foetal well-being scans, all of which helps to address the critical issue of maternal and infant care in Kenya.


Maternity Screening Camp to Enable Early Detection of Complications
As per previous years, Philips is organising a maternity screening camp during the Cairo to Cape Town roadshow jointly with African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) in Kibera; the largest informal settlement in Nairobi. For a majority of the expectant mothers in this community, this screening camp will be their first ever opportunity to have a scan. This will ensure that any complications are detected in advance of labour. Philips will be providing ultrasound equipment, including the VISIQ system and clinical specialists for the camp, whereas AMREF, through its referral programme with the local public hospitals, will take care of any complications detected during the screening.


Philips is also organising a roundtable discussion as part of its 'Fabric of Africa' campaign, on the topic of "Innovations in Rural Healthcare" and will organise clinical training workshops on topics including foetal monitoring, infant warming, jaundice management and clinical ultrasound. Over the course of three days, Philips will train close to 120 local healthcare professionals, increasing the quality of healthcare workforce in Kenya.