Radiology Toys (TL;DR)

I wrote a long post with lots of options for the best personal radiology equipment (and additional posts about using a left-hand device or implementing the magic of AutoHotkey for achieving hands-free dictation and efficiency).

But gosh, all those words!

For the use-with-your-hands part, here are some quick contexts and a single choice for each that you can implement wherever you work:


  • Wrist hurts + want magic buttons and/or can’t install software: Zelotes C18/TRELC
  • Wrist hurts + normal buttons and/or can install software: MX Vertical
  • No wrist pain + Goldilocks (good but not insane amount of magic buttons, on-board memory means no software needed at each computer): G604 Lightspeed
  • No wrist pain + ludicrous number of buttons: UtechSmart VenusPro
  • Debilitating wrist pain please help nothing is working: Roller Mouse


  • Left-hand device with buttons and scrolling behavior: Contour Shuttle Pro V2 (read more here, software required)
  • Left-hand device with buttons and on-board memory: ELSRA Smart (cheap, labelable)
  • If you’re adding an off-hand device, you’ll want something to hold the dictaphone near your face. A cheap clamp like this works great.

Note: I didn’t get into any of this stuff until I became an attending, but looking back, it is insane that I was just using the garbage plugged into the workstation wherever I sat down.

While not everyone wants or needs to go full-on mega nerd with a hands-free setup and a left-hand device (though it’s awesome and I kind of do think everybody should), even residents would benefit from at least an inexpensive gaming/productivity mouse, especially for call when speed matters (it’s also during those night float months that many of us first began to experience repetitive stress injuries from bad ergonomics and inefficient workflows.) Optimizing is a worthy investment of time/energy/money.


J Scales 12.14.23 Reply

Thanks for this post. Your last write up was great and I incorporated the Contour shuttle pro and Rode mic into my workflow at a more permanent workstation.

I did find when I traveled to other offsite workstations I was missing that left hand input and a more flexible mic solution. I found XP Pen mini keypad which works via Bluetooth and it has been great paired with autohotkey. The wheel on the side can also be used to scroll or change window/level settings. It does require drivers and software be downloaded to each workstation you use it on.

Also got a Samson Go mic which is very small and portable and just plugs in and is ready to go. Had used the microphone clamp but this mic just seemed easier.

It is a great portable setup, thanks for the inspiration to look into it.

Ben 12.14.23 Reply

That mic looks like a pretty cool form factor, nice find.

The main benefit of the clamp over another microphone is that you don’t have to retrain your voice profile in PowerScribe, and, at least for me, some workstations I use don’t have that many free USB slots facing forward,so it keeps me from having to deal with the back of the machine during morning setup. Relatively small benefits to be sure.

Nick Kolanko 05.30.24 Reply

Any wireless left-hand devices you’ve come across? Already using wireless LG502 mouse for the right hand, max’d out the customizable buttons, need a few more to move to a boom mic option. Looking to keep both hands mobile, not in a fixed position. Thanks!

Ben 05.30.24 Reply

I think overall that most of the left-hand devices aren’t too cumbersome to slide around the desk for positioning changes.

If you can use Bluetooth, you might try to the XPPen Mini Keydial or HUION Keydial.

If you need a USB dongle wireless option, something like the Epomaker Cidoo or similar models would work well depending on how much you want to play with keycaps.

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