Summit Doppler LifeDop 250 ABI Handheld Vascular Doppler Review

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The Summit Doppler LifeDop 250 ABI Handheld Vascular Doppler is a low-cost portable unit made for the manual testing of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD.) With this handheld doppler, testing is completed traditionally, with both of the available packages offering cuffs, aneroid, and an integrated printer for printing pulse waveforms.  

Features 

The LifeDop 250 was created to be a portable solution for the accurate calculation of ABI. It’s not the most advanced system available, but its simplicity is matched by its affordability.  

  • Large heart rate display
  • Bi-directional 8 MHz probe 
  • Integrated printer 
  • L250AB Package: Includes (2) cuffs and aneroid 
  • L250AC Package: Includes (4) cuffs and aneroid 

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Tests Performed 

As a handheld Vascular Doppler, the LifeDop 250 offers the traditional method of testing for ABI. As is customary, the physician will have to connect the patient to the cuffs that come along with the package (2 cuffs interchangeably with the L250AB package and 4 cuffs all at once with the L250AC package.)  

The patient will then have to rest in a supine position for around five minutes, before the pressure in their upper arms and the pulse waveforms in their ankles are read. The LifeDop 250 does not offer instant calculation, so the division of the collected readings must be done manually. 

However, it does come with a portable printer that can print out pulse waveform readings to be used for further diagnosis and later stuck to the patient’s medical records for documentation.  

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Software Used 

The LifeDop 250 does not come with a processing unit, never mind a reporting software. It is fully manual, but the base system does offer a large heart rate display and a portable printer that prints off recorded pulse waveforms.  

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Review 

The LifeDop 250 handheld doppler package delivers on what it was made to do. In the hands of a trained physician, one can identify pressure and waveform readings easily. Of course, it is completely manual — including the calculation of ABI scores, but the simple design is matched by its affordability.  

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Technical Specifications 

  • Handheld Doppler Device 
  • 8 MHz bi-directional probe (5 MHz probe must be purchased separately but is compatible with the unit.) 
  • 2 or 4 blood pressure cuffs with aneroid 
  • Portable Printer for printing pulse waveform readings 

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Pros and Cons 

A list of pros and cons of the Summit Doppler LifeDop 250 ABI Handheld Vascular Doppler System.  


PROS:
  • Compatible with single-level ABI Exams 
  • Uses a sensitive 8 MHz doppler for accurately reading pulse waveforms (compatible with 5 MHz Doppler for deeper arteries — must be purchased separately) 
  • Crisp display for reading Heart Rate  
  • Portable printer included for printing recorded pulse waveforms 

CONS:
  • The LifeDop 250 is incredibly portable and, in the hands of a trained professional, can be used to calculate ABI through the sensitive doppler instrument and printed pulse waveform readings. However, despite the dependency of this method, it is rather ancient. There are more modern alternatives out there that can be used to more easily diagnose PAD.  


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