Lumify Ultrasound System

Added Sep 4, 2016

Manufactured by Philips

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Reviewed by Dr Sebastian Mafeld Reviewed Sep 4, 2016

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Having complete a 4 week trial using the Philips Lumify, we were suitably impressed with the capability of this highly portable ultrasound machine. Needless to say some of us were sceptical about this machine due to previous poor experience with portable ultrasound equipment (anyone remember the GE VScan?). Summary of Key Points: ?The Philips Lumify is an outstanding portable ultrasound system with great image quality, battery life and ease of use. ?The option of a curvilinear and linear probe means it can be used for most ultrasound applications, we were impressed with its abdominal and vascular imaging capability. ?While the image quality is outstanding and rivals the quality of its larger counterparts (Philips Epiq and iU22), it isn?t designed to be a replacement for a departmental ultrasound machine. The inability to change focal zone, lack of harmonics and the somewhat frustrating probe connection to the tablet were the only slightly frustrating aspects to this device. In the future it would be nice to see compatibility with Apple devices. Additional features to augment its use would be to include some sort of stand in the case for the tablet in order to stabilise it while scanning. ?Overall the Lumify is a capable ultrasound system at an affordable price point and would certainly make a welcome addition to any medical department that uses ultrasound

The Lumify is Philips latest portable ultrasound system which connects to any compatible Android handheld device (tablet or phone).  Two transducers are available (Curvilinear and Linear) which plug directly into the device and require no additional power supply. Rather than purchasing the device in its entirety, Philips have launched a monthly subscription model which is currently available in the USA. The android device needs to be provided by the user. The Lumify app is downloadable from the Google Play store.

In terms of its category, it’s hard to decide what the Lumify should be compared to.  We set high standards with comparisons of the linear probe to the Sonosite Nanomaxx and GE Venue 50 and the curvilinear probe to the Philips Epiq and iU22. These comparison ultrasound machines are considerably more expensive. 
A short video showing a comparison with the Sonosite Nanomaxx and GE Venue 50 is available here.
Abdominal Imaging: The Lumify is capable of performing a standard abdominal scan with ease. Image quality of the major abdominal organs is good, although the lack of harmonic imaging is noticeable and the Lumify would not be able to replace its large counterparts (Epiq and iU22). Additionally the Lumify does not have an adjustable focal zone. That said, it isn’t designed to compete with these machines, and instead the sweet spot for the Lumify will likely be for portable or urgent non-departmental ultrasounds. Battery life of the Lumify is good, lasting up to several hours of scanning and is of course dependent on the android device used.
Vascular Imaging: The linear probe is outstanding. Comparison images between the Lumify, Nanomaxx and Venue 50 demonstrate how good the Lumify can be. For femoral, internal jugular or peripheral venous access, the Lumify is more than good enough to be able to perform these procedures safely. 
Interventional Imaging: We used the Lumify’s linear and curvilinear probe to perform a nephrostomy, ultrasound guided PleurX drain insertion and for vascular access. Image quality was adequate to perform these procedures with ease and safety. The only slightly difficult aspect was trying to find a stable position for the tablet while performing the procedure. The transducer cable is long enough to allow the tablet to be placed away from the sterile field, but finding a stable place for the tablet can be difficult. This could easily be remedied by purchasing a case for the tablet which has an inbuilt stand. We also feel that the micro USB connection is a potential week spot that may lead to failure of the device connector in the long term.
You can see the Lumify and an Android phone being used for a nephrostomy procedure here.
Overall the Lumify is a great and truly revolutionary ultrasound system. It is hard to believe the image quality that is produced from these transducers without the need for any additional power source. Considerable innovation has gone into producing the Lumify and this is truly a portable, functional and most importantly, useful ultrasound machine. Multiple hospital departments and community healthcare centres could benefit from this device. With its ease of use and affordable price point, it’s easy to see how the Lumify could attract greater interest into ultrasound and beckon a revolution of sorts.
Dr Sebastian Mafeld (Interventional Radiology Fellow)
Dr Phil Haslam (Consultant Interventional Radiologist)
Dr Andrew McNeil (Consultant Radiologist)
Freeman Hospital
Newcastle upon Tyne

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