What is a POCUS – Ultrasound Machine Guide

What is POCUS in ultrasound machines text graphic

In the medical field, POCUS stands for Point-Of-Care Ultrasound Machine. Medical professionals will use a POCUS to assess, diagnose, and treat patients where ever they are.

Ambulances, rural towns, ERs, nursing homes, and at the roadside are all areas where POCUS machines help assess patients. As such, point-of-care ultrasound machines are generally lightweight and portable and don’t offer all the features of a full-fledged cart-style machine.

At Strata Imaging, we have decades of experience with all types of ultrasound machines and specialize in POCUS systems. We made this guide to help explain point-of-case ultrasounds and review some examples, so keep reading to learn more.

What are POCUS Machines?

Clinicians and sonographers use Point of Care UltraSound (POCUS) machines to diagnose patients in areas when and where other assessment tools are not available. For example, paramedics may use a POCUS on a patient they are transporting in an ambulance to the hospital. This helps them diagnose wounds, conditions, etc., before arriving at the ER, allowing the hospital staff to quickly treat the injury or perform a more in-depth assessment with a specialized ultrasound machine, CAT scanner, X-Ray, etc.

Who Uses POCUS Devices?

Hospitals often have several POCUS machines in their inventory. Various departments use them to assess patients– emergency room, ICU, OB/GYN, cardiac, anesthesiology, orthopedics, and more. But many non-hospital medical clinics use POCUS devices for patient care too.

Here are some examples of areas that use point-of-care ultrasounds:

  • Hospitals (various departments)
  • Urgent care clinics
  • Family doctor offices
  • Veterinary offices
  • Public and private school
  • Universities
  • Sports programs
  • Physical therapy clinics
  • Ambulance services
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Military

The portability and affordability of POCUS devices make them the perfect choice for diagnosing and assessing injuries and conditions on the fly. However, compared to a full-fledged cart-based ultrasound machine, POCUS machines lack many features and cannot scan to the same depth. As such, clinicians often use POCUS devices for preliminary diagnostics before sending the patient off for more thorough scans.

However, POCUS machines can fully diagnose some conditions and injuries (like a ligament tear) and provide needle guidance for anesthesia procedures.

Top POCUS Machines

Almost all major ultrasound machine brands offer point-of-care devices. Here are some examples of POCUS machines from Strata Imaging’s inventory:

Siemens Acuson Freestyle– A tablet-like point-of-care ultrasound machine with wireless probes– one convex and two linear– that work up to ten feet away.
SonoSite Edge II– A laptop-style POCUS with a rugged enclosure and built-in handle, making it usable in almost every type of environment.
GE Vscan With Dual Probe– a POCUS machine no bigger than a modern flip phone– easily fits in a pocket and comes with a convex and linear scanner.

Read our guide on the top POCUS machines for more details.

POCUS Benefits

Point-of-care ultrasound machines have several benefits, primarily their portability and ability to provide quick assessment in demanding situations. However, not all POCUS machines come with the same features.

Here are some of the top benefits of POCUS machines (note: some benefits may not apply to a specific POCUS model, always refer to the particular machine’s specifications).

  • Compatibility with linear and convex ultrasound transducers
  • Scanning depth up to 35 cm
  • Rugged enclosure
  • Fast boot time (often 30-60 seconds)
  • 1-2 hour battery life
  • Color Doppler
  • B-mode
  • Attachable storage (USB, SD, microSD, etc.)
  • Efficient control
  • Cardiac features
  • Application presets
  • Customizable workflow
  • Easy sterilization

Where to Buy POCUS Ultrasound Machines?

Point-of-care ultrasound machines are available from all major brands. We have stock and access to several leading new, used, and refurbished POCUS machines at Strata Imaging.

Contact our Strata Imaging team if you want help selecting your next POCUS machine.

Additional Options From Strata Imaging

At Strata Imaging, we specialize in all types of ultrasound machines, not just POCUS. If you’re looking for any new, used, or refurbished ultrasound machine for your medical clinic, check out our extensive inventory and download our price sheet.


POCUS stands for “Point-Of-Care-UltraSound.” A POCUS machine is generally a portable ultrasound machine with fast-boot times, intuitive controls, and basic features. Clinicians primarily use them on patients in emergencies where more advanced tools aren’t available, such as in the ER or the back of an ambulance. Another common use is in non-emergent situations, such as physical therapy and anesthesia procedures.

Discover Ultrasound from Strata Imaging

If you are in need of an affordable option and are looking to save 30-60% over new OEM prices then allow our knowledgeable customer service and expert team to assist you in developing a solution that fits your requirements.

We offer solutions with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, ensuring you receive the best value for your investment.

Strata Imaging's Guarantee

FDA Certified Products

Factory OEM Specifications

100% Guarantee

Our clients

Trust Others From Around The World

Served over 4,000 Ultrasound and C-Arm Clients since 2004

Want To See Over 50 Machines Priced Side By Side
Get Price Sheet