CardioServ loves promoting organizations and individuals that share our values of inspiring excellence. I interviewed EchoToday’s founder Michael Owen to find out more about his development of an app to advance workflow within imaging labs. Michael has mastered diastolic function evaluation and has found a way to simplify diastolic assessment with an app, allowing sonographers and physicians to quickly evaluate diastolic function.
Michael Owen graduated from Austin Community College in 2016 and is double credentialed (RDCS, RVT). He currently works at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center, in southern Texas, as a cardiac sonographer. Although Michael is new to the field of sonography he quickly established himself as a leader and mentor. He is involved in his alma mater where he sits on the advisory committee to provide continuous improvement and support to the sonography program. As an active member of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), he currently mentors students through the ASE Mentor Program and is a member of the Innovative Task Force Committee that is responsible for organizing the 2018 ASE Echovation Competition.
EchoToday is an application developed to evaluate the severity of diastolic dysfunction in a matter of seconds by answering a few easy questions. The latest ASE’s diastolic assessment algorithm has been built into the app, allowing the user (sonographers and physicians) to quickly determine the severity of diastolic dysfunction. This application allows the clinician to easily determine the grade of diastology in a matter of seconds, saving time and improving patient care.
EchoToday will be available in a subscription format, which will continuously update as new ASE guidelines are released. There will be two versions available: consumer mobile model and enterprise iPad model.
The consumer model includes:
The enterprise version includes the above plus:
As with all innovative technology, EchoToday was created as a solution for a problem identified by Michael. During Michael’s clinical rotations in his sonography program, he noticed inconsistencies between facilities in regards to utilizing the newest guidelines for evaluation of diastolic function. While speaking with different sonographers he realized that they wanted to follow the latest guidelines but many were finding it challenging to implement the diastology guidelines into their workflow. There needed to be an easy to implement standardized process to quickly diagnose diastolic function.
Michael decided to develop an app. He researched other echocardiography apps. After reading the reviews of other echo applications he was sure to address the weakness expressed by reviewers. He then put together a development team and got to work. He began this project in September 2016 and is in the final stages of approval from Apple for his app to go live.
Back in 2015 the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) recognized the need to foster innovation and collaboration throughout the field of cardiovascular ultrasound. The Board decided that one of the most compelling ways to directly encourage new applications of technology and the implementation of new technology into everyday clinical practice was to host an innovation competition, and the Echovation Challenge was born. The Echovation Challenge provides a platform and forum for ASE members and others to offer ground-breaking solutions to the challenges that face cardiovascular ultrasound.
Michael submitted EchoToday into the 2017 ASE’s Echovation contest at the scientific sessions hosted in Baltimore, Maryland. The 2017 theme for Echovation was streamlining diagnostics for augmented medical decision making, which included advancements in workflow or instrumentation to accelerate time to determine diagnosis. With two dozen submissions from around the world, five final teams were chosen for the finals. As the only non-physician team, Michael proudly placed second for his creation of EchoToday! He was able to present EchoToday to a live audience of over 700!
You can read more about Michael’s Echovation achievement here!
Over the next few weeks, Michael will be a guest writer here at CardioServ. He will break down the diastolic function assessment algorithm into an easy to understand workflow. We will collaborate with Michael and be sure to add any necessary tips and techniques for echo scanning to supplement his Mastering Diastology Series. Keep an eye out for the diastolic function blog series starting next week.
Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE