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SonoSite handheld system will go into battle

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The 19 member countries of NATO will purchase the SonoSite 180 handheld ultrasound system for diagnostic and imaging use on the battlefield. SonoSite received Food and Drug Administration clearance for the 5-pound digital handheld ultrasound early last

The 19 member countries of NATO will purchase the SonoSite 180 handheld ultrasound system for diagnostic and imaging use on the battlefield.

SonoSite received Food and Drug Administration clearance for the 5-pound digital handheld ultrasound early last year. The British Armed Forces use the SonoSite 180, which can scan any area of the body for bullets or evidence of trauma.

NATO will purchase the devices for about $20,000 each, depending on how many scanheads are included in the unit, said Kelly Ford, director of marketing communications. Four years ago, Bothell, WA-based SonoSite entered into a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Project Agency to develop an ultrasound device for use on the battlefield. Studies are under way to explore the best use of this equipment to improve diagnosis and treatment in military trauma situations.

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