A Belfast doctor claims Macs are at the forefront of a medical revolution.

Dr Emanuel carried out a scan with his 600MHz iBook and a SonoSite 180 handheld ultrasound scanner on a pregnant woman who fell at Luton Airport – safeguarding her unborn baby's welfare.

He said: "These devices [scanners] have AV outputs that pick up analogue or digital signals. It's a matter of taking the signal out of the machine and putting it on to your desktop. You don't need a graphics card: the unit produces signals, and you run them through a Formac box – which then runs straight onto the Mac.

"It’s an additional service for my patients. If I want to get another opinion on an image of a baby, I’ll send an MPEG movie in QuickTime along a phone line anywhere in the world within minutes."

Dr Emanuel runs a Belfast practice using an old Power Mac 8500 in reception and the iBook. These two pieces of networked equipment store a medical database for examination, investigation, diagnosis and treatment records.

He added: "Macs are intuitive – they're easy to use. With PCs, there's a lot of unnecessary computer literacy because of the difficulty with the operating system. Macs are far more versatile and they've got a wider range of applications".