The Vscan Air™ SL is a handheld, wireless ultrasound imaging system. Credit: GE HealthCare.
The dual-probe ultrasound device includes a sector-phased array on one side and a linear array on the other. Credit: PIJITRA PHOMKHAM/
The Vscan Air™ SL was launched in August 2023. Credit: Belish/

The Vscan Air™ SL is a handheld, wireless ultrasound imaging system designed for quick cardiac and vascular examinations at the point of care. It was developed by GE HealthCare, a medical technology company based in the US.

Vscan Air SL is the latest addition to the company’s Vscan product line, which already includes more than 50,000 systems used by clinicians. It aids clinicians in speeding up diagnoses and treatment decisions, which is important in emergencies where time is critical.

The device received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration in August 2023. It is commercially available in key countries across Europe and Asia, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

In April 2024, GE Healthcare introduced the AI-driven Caption AI software on Vscan Air SL.

Vscan Air SL details and features

Vscan Air SL is a battery-operated, portable general-purpose diagnostic ultrasound imaging system. The device measures 141mm × 67mm × 33mm and weighs approximately 218gm. It comes with an app to be installed on Android or iOS mobile devices.

The device’s portability is especially valuable for point-of-care assessments, whether within the hospital or in remote settings. It features a dual-headed probe comprising a sector transducer and a linear array transducer. The dual-array configuration allows clinicians to seamlessly switch between focused cardiac assessments and vascular assessments, enhancing versatility and efficiency.

Featuring 128 physical channel beamforming, the device offers a total scan time of 50 minutes on a fully charged battery, with an imaging split of 80% black and white and 20% colour. It uses harmonic imaging to enhance signal-to-noise ratio and minimise artifacts resulting in superior tissue definition and reduced speckle artifacts, even at greater depths due to lower ultrasound frequencies.

The battery can be recharged from 10% to 90% in 75 minutes, and smart connect pairing allows for quicker scanning by keeping the probe connected to the display device while charging. It features a user-friendly interface with intuitive controls which helps clinicians to efficiently operate the device and perform assessments without extensive training.

With optional Vscan Air + Digital Tools and AI features, clinicians can subscribe to solutions that enhance workflow through secure collaboration, image, and device management features.

Technology details

The device incorporates GE HealthCare’s proprietary SignalMax™ + XDclear™ technology. It combines the strength of SignalMax high-intensity signal processing with single-crystal transducer technology to provide superior penetration, resolution, and sensitivity, resulting in high-quality imaging performance.

The Vscan Air SL, equipped with Caption AI-driven Cardiac Guidance and Interpretation software, provides real-time, step-by-step instructions for manoeuvring the probe to capture high-quality echocardiographic views.

The software’s AutoEF feature automatically calculates the left ventricular ejection fraction from the acquired images and offers customisable protocols for cardiac ultrasound views. It helps clinicians assess cardiac functions rapidly at the point of care on Vscan Air SL.

The feature is available on tablets larger than 7.3in. The software, developed by Caption Health, includes Caption Guidance™ and Caption Interpretation Automated Ejection Fraction™.

Additionally, users can efficiently perform scans using the AutoCapture and Save Best Clip features, which ensure the highest quality image is captured from each view.

Sector array transducer details

The sector array transducer is ideal for focussed cardiac assessments and is used for deep scanning, utilising the XDclear™ transducer technology. The XDclear transducer features single-crystal technology for greater image uniformity and penetration, an acoustic amplifier architecture for improved power efficiency and reduced noise, and a cool stack for enhanced heat dissipation and diagnostic power.

The technology supports various clinical applications, including cardiac, abdominal, obstetric, gynaecological, urological, thoracic, paediatric, adult cephalic, and interventional guidance procedures.

It operates with a broad-bandwidth sector array of 1.6MHz to 3.7MHz, a 64-element array, a footprint of 22mm × 17mm, a viewing angle of up to 90°, and a depth of up to 24cm.

Linear array transducer details

The linear array transducer is ideal when moving from
cardiac to vascular assessments.

The transducer offers a wide range of clinical applications and examination types, catering to various medical needs, including vascular and peripheral vascular assessments, musculoskeletal examinations, evaluations of small organs, thoracic and lung examinations, ophthalmic assessments, paediatric evaluations and neonatal cephalic assessments.

It can also be used as guidance for interventional procedures such as free-hand needle and catheter placement, fluid drainage, nerve block, vascular access, and biopsy.

The transducer features a broad-bandwidth linear array ranging from 3MHz to 12MHz with a centre frequency of 7.7MHz, which ensures detailed imaging. It provides high-resolution images with 192 elements and a compact footprint of 40mm × 7mm for the lens.

Additionally, it offers impressive depth penetration of up to 8cm, facilitating comprehensive diagnostic capabilities across diverse medical scenarios.