The AUA was founded by Catherine Stowell, a sonographer who has worked with ultrasound and animals over the last 10 years. Over this time, Catherine recognised a need to establish a safe and regulated community around ultrasound scanning.
The increasing accessibility and affordability of ultrasound equipment has led to its deprofessionalisation in some areas of animal and even human medicine. This can lead to incorrect diagnoses, delivering a substandard service to pet owners and even putting animals’ lives at risk. In addition, it must not be forgotten that ultrasound deposits energy into the body. To comply with EU and FDA regulations, indices displaying the level of exposure risk should be displayed on screen and interpreted in context by the operator. Yet, there are now many machines on the market that fail to comply with these safety standards, often in the hands of operators who have had no training on correct scanning technique, exposure times or biohazards. This is particularly worrisome for sensitive applications such as a pregnancy scanning.
Even for veterinarians performing more specialised work like echocardiograms, there is very little by the way of high-quality training or on-going support, leaving most vets to have to ‘figure it out’ alone. Without a standard that everybody is working to, conclusions are not reproducible between operators and diagnoses are at best meaningless, and at worst harmful.
The Animal Ultrasound Association was therefore created in response to a demand from animal scanning professionals, who wanted better protection of their profession and ongoing, career-long training and development. It was decided that this should be created as a Community Interest Company (CIC) that individuals could join as members, in order to feel real engagement with the community mission.
Our team has grown over the years to include a range of expertise from sonography, echocardiography, digital marketing, data and web analytics. We’re passionate about what we do, and in particular about animal ultrasound.