But technology has moved ahead and at this time clinical ultrasound, also called the "new phonendoscope", is now available to all healthcare groups. The ultrasound has improved its resolution and has decreased in size, becoming more portable and its price has also dropped. In this sense, some media such as the National Post recently wondered if the stethoscope is in its final stages following a congress held in Canada. Diagnostic ultrasound or sonography, popularly known as ultrasound, has had a very rapid evolution thanks to its innocuousness, facilitating the possibility of repeatedly performing echographic scans to the same patient, without risks, without expensive preparations and at a relatively low cost.
Thanks to all these efforts, progress in ultrasound extends both in and out the hospitals and imaging diagnostic services. The use of ultrasound extends to almost all specialties and especially to primary care doctors and ultrasound commonly exists in many community health centres. Primary care health professionals need the means to support them in their work in order to provide the best assistance to the patient and ensure their diagnosis. Ultrasound is a technique that can help and support this clinical decision process.
Looking ahead to the near future, what will become of the stethoscope? My vision is that for several years it will continue to coexist with the extension of ultrasound in more generalist profiles. But in a few decades, most likely when ultrasound is taught in university medical studies, the "phonendoscope" will end up being a means of residual exploration.