Digital X-ray, 4-D Ultrasound Enhance Care at UAMS South

By Ben Boulden

The new system, which cost about $80,000, wirelessly transmits the digital x-ray images to a work station. That greatly speeds up the processing and reading of the images and the time it takes to give patients results, said Nichole Stultz, diagnostic medical sonographer at UAMS South’s Family Medical Center.

The digital x-ray system is the second big improvement in imaging there recently. The Family Medical Center in Magnolia spent more than $100,000 to purchase a new 4-D ultrasound system. While a 3-D ultrasound can produce a three-dimensional image of a baby, 4-D imaging produces a moving image similar to a live video.

“The new technology allows for many more uses and applications and produces much better images,” Stultz said. “You can actually see what the babies look like. We just have clearer, sharper imaging. I think it makes a huge difference in patient experience. The mothers and their families can actually see the babies better. That makes them feel better and reassured.”

Stultz said the ultrasound also can be used for revealing the sex of the baby, a service available to anyone, whether a patient or not. The only comparable systems are in Texarkana and the Louisiana cities of Shreveport and Monroe, she said. Having the system in Magnolia means expectant mothers in nearby communities don’t have to travel outside the region.

The 4-D ultrasound system also allows the medical center to better support use of the UAMS-led ANGELS network. ANGELS (the Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System) is an innovative consultative service for a wide range of Arkansas physicians including family practitioners, obstetricians, neonatologists and pediatricians. Using a high-speed, high-resolution live video stream, the ANGELS network connects those specialists with mothers experiencing high-risk pregnancies in south Arkansas.

“In these visits, I do the targeted ultrasound to look for genetic or other problems while a UAMS physician watches from their side,” Stultz said. “When finished, the patients have an actual visit with them over the monitor. These patient stories really stick out to me. We have had many success stories with ANGELS.”

UAMS South’s Family Medical Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For an appointment, call (870) 234-7676.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Myeloma Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,834 students, 822 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.