Nicolet® Elite® Review

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The Nicolet® Elite® is a simple handheld Doppler device that boasts an efficient and user-friendly “unique broad-beam” probe design. It was constructed to be simple and it does not allow for much in terms of testing flexibility, however, it can at least manage the most basic type of ABI exam.  

Features 

As far as features go, the Nicolet® Elite® is fairly sparse, a characteristic that it shares with other handheld devices. Its key features make up the following: 

  • The body of the Elite® is slim, portable, and created to be very durable;
  • Attached is a sensitive 8 MHz Doppler probe for assessing surface level vessels; 
  • The system is battery-run, but a recharger can also be purchased to reduce battery cost. 
  • Finally, the Doppler device offers optional compatibility with a 2MHz attachment that can be used for underwater labor or delivery.  

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Tests Performed 

As a Handheld Doppler device, there’s not much that you can do with the Nicolet® Elite® outside of basic single level ABI exams. Neither does the procedure differ from how ABI tests are usually handled. For example, as is customary, the patient must still be rested in a supine position (for approximately 5 to 20 minutes) before the device can be used.  

This handheld device, lacking certain features, might lead to false or positive readings. If the patient’s ABI score does not match reported symptoms, then another machine might be needed to operate a Toe Ankle-Brachial Index exam.  

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Nicolet® Elite® Review 

Overall, the Nicolet® Elite® does not disappoint as a handheld doppler device. It is cheap, portable, and durable. In most cases, this device is really all that is needed. Of course, there are plenty that it is lacking, and it does not compare to more modern devices and machines. However, there is no denying that it does what it is meant to do, and it does it well.  

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Technical Specifications 

  • 8 MHz Doppler Attachment 
  • NATUS Speakers 

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Pros and Cons 

A list of pros and cons of the Nicolet® Elite® Handheld Doppler Device.  


PROS:
  • The main advantage of using the Nicolet Elite® is the fact that it is portable — a feature that some of the more complex ABI machines cannot be expected to have. 
  • Also, even though it is light and small-in-size, the Elite® was built with durable materials — allowing it to last for years. 
  • The 8 MHz Doppler Probe attachment is perfect for basic ABI exams, and the Nicolet® is also compatible with 2 MHz Dopplers for fetal examinations and 5 MHz Dopplers for monitoring deeper arteries.  
  • Finally, there are different versions of the Elite® available, providing the choice between battery-free (recharger included) and not.  

CONS:
  • Although the Nicolet® Elite® has its uses as a basic handheld Doppler, there is a limit as far as how it compares to other ABI machines and devices in the market. For one, it still uses the manual Doppler method, rather than the more modern and efficient use of automatic algorithm-operated ABI testing machines (which prevent human error.)  
  • This fact also limits its testing capabilities to single level ABI exams, which is as basic as testing can get. If lucky, this is enough in most cases. However, there might be a time that further testing is needed (e.g. patients who have incompressible arteries and require a TBI.)  


4.5 Total Score

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