SPECHO is a half-day course aims to provide training in transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) using handheld device to paramedics, nurses, doctors and for those who may to provide life support on the scene.

Echocardiography has been described as the 21st century stethoscope.  With the advancement of technology, this notion is further realized by the appearance of handheld ultrasound device.  Modern hand-held devices are ultra-portable, and possesses many functionalities.  They surpassed the traditional stethoscopes and are extremely helpful in emergency crisis (e.g. out of hospital arrest), or in daily practice (e.g.  ward-round).  As such, this SPECHO workshop provides an entry level on-the-spot TTE examination for frontline healthcare professionals who are confronted by emergency scenarios.  In these situations, often “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and a spot TTE provides exactly that picture.

Who should attend?

This course is mainly designed for professionals who are required to handle medical emergency situations quickly.  They may include, but not limited to,

  1. Paramedics (ambulance offices)
  2. Nurses
  3. Doctors who want to replace their stethoscopes with handheld devices in their daily practice.
  4. Medical students

As the course mainly focuses on “pattern recognition”, professionals with little medical background, such as fire fighters and police, may also find the course useful.


After completion of the course, the participants should be able

  • to perform a simple strategy for spot TTE examination
  • to quickly identify:
    • Moderate to severe left ventricular dysfunction
    • Severe right ventricular (RV) dysfunction or strain due to pulmonary hypertension
    • Severe hypotension
    • Pericardial effusion/tamponade
  • to state the limitations of SPECHO
  • to provide a quick and concise report

Course content

This is a 4 hour course, where ~2 to 2.5 h are devoted to hands-on session.  A ~1 h session on cases studies presents the most common scenarios encountered in emergency situations.

Upcoming SPECHO course(s)