Product Features - Ultrasound


Siemens combines leading tech into single state-of-the-art unit

In March this year Siemens is set to launch their Acuson S2000 in Europe at the ECR in Vienna.

The company showed a prototype of this new premium ultrasound platform at Arab Health 2008 in Dubai in January. It was first unveiled at RSNA in Chicago in November last year.

Siemens says the system will have capabilities for paradigm shifting applications such as Acoustic Radiation Forced Impulse (ARFI) imaging and is ready to integrate silicon transducers – the new state-of-theart Silicon Ultrasound technology.

Klaus Hambuchen, president, Siemens Medical Solutions, Ultrasound Division said: “We see ARFI and Silicon Ultrasound as the biggest changes in the industry since Doppler imaging became clinically useful.”

A spokesperson at Siemens at Arab Health said a number of proven ultrasound technologies have been melded together and incorporated into the Acuson S2000.

This system is top-of-therange with regards workflowenhancing clinical applications and ergonomic design.

“The outstanding image quality provides superior diagnostic confidence,” said the spokesperson. The new Acuson S2000 ultrasound system will feature applications across general imaging, including obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), as well as vascular and cardiac imaging.

ARFI

ARFI, the spokesperson explained, uses acoustic energy to displace tissue for a qualitative and quantitative assessment of deep tissue stiffness, which has been shown to be useful for assessing differentiation in abnormalities such as liver tumours or the quantification of fibrosis progression.

Silicon

The Acuson S2000 system is also capable of integrating Siemens’ groundbreaking Silicon Ultrasound technology, which introduces the first entirely new class of ultrasound transducers in 40 years. Silicon Ultrasound technology uses the precise semiconductor processing techniques of the computer chip industry to create a family of probes that will enable volumetric 4D imaging in a wide range of applications. This technology will enable physicians to see the same fine level of detail in each direction that they choose to examine the imaging data. This will be particularly beneficial for breast imaging and other highresolution applications.

The system will also incorporate Automated Breast Scanning (ABS), a technique that provides automated, 3D ultrasound volumes of the breast.

Siemens says ABS is an important tool in the screening, diagnosis and follow-up care of breast cancer supplementing mammography, especially in women with dense breast tissue. ABS reduces acquisition variability and cycle time when compared to manual breast ultrasound, making it more reproducible and consistent for interpreting physicians.

A number of features are incorporated to improve clinical confidence. These include Advanced SieClear spatial compounding uses electronic beam steering to rapidly acquire overlapping images from different view angles. The technique enhances anatomic border definition and improves overall tissue contrast. In combination with Dynamic TCE tissue contrast enhancement, it further reduces image noise and enhances borders, which can improve subtle tissue differentiation especially for patients who are technically difficult to image.

Users also benefit from access to advanced HD (high density) transducer technology using extremely fine pitch to double the transducer elements yielding superior lateral and contrast resolution. Siemens Hanafy lens transducer technology and Multi-D array technology also improve slice thickness, image uniformity and improved signal-to-noise ratio for high-frequency imaging.

Workflow

Siemens will also offer various workflow applications to improve the efficiency of ultrasound exams. For instance, with syngo Auto OB, users can generate semi-automatic biometric fetal measurements. syngo Auto OB saves up to 75% of the keystrokes in routine foetal exams.

The Acuson S2000 system also takes advantage of Advanced fourSight technology which has enhanced functionality for volumetric acquisition, data rendering and post-processing. The software also includes Amnioscopic Rendering, which provides a unique surface-rendering technique for realistic and detailed views of the foetus. Foetal heart STIC (Spatio- Temporal Image Correlation) imaging captures data over multiple heart cycles and creates a 3D foetal heart volume that allows sonographers to view the heart in multiple planes.

Volume calculation

syngo eSie Calcs introduces border detection technology which segments an area of interest and provides automatic calculations. By simply defining a boundary box, the application traces lesions and automatically calculates the volume in 3D or the area in 2D.

Ergonomics

“Ergonomics are a strong feature of this new design,” said the spokesperson. “We’ve incorporated a swivel keyboard, an articulating monitor and a number of features to reduce repetitive strain in jury.

“We have also introduced a number of hard key on the key board so that they can be put to memory and used without having to look at the keyboard.”

With the incorporation of these advanced technologies, the Acuson S2000 sets a definitive mark for the next generation of ultrasound scanners.

Pocket ultrasound launched in Middle East

Siemens Medical introduced the very nifty, first-of-its-kind pocket ultrasound device to the Middle East market at Arab Health 2008 in Dubai in January.

Weighing a mere 725 grammes and small enough to slip into your pocket, the Acuson P10 is a powerful handheld ultrasound device ideally suited to on-the-fly diagnostics and screening which will enable more accurate, faster decisions whether in triage situations, on the battlefield or making house calls. Its application options are enormous.

The device has an easy-to-use PDA-style user interface and boots up automatically and rapidly – about 10 seconds – when opened.

The device is adequately capable of initial ultrasound diagnostics and screening – in emergency medicine, obs/gyn and cardiology – providing high-quality black and white images in fundamental and harmonic 2D mode.

The unit can easily be controlled with your thumb - like a PDA device. Its batteries enable ultrasound imaging for about one hour before they require recharging. Images can be saved or shared via its standard USB port, which is also used for firmware upgrades.

This practical little device should become standard equipment in all mobile trauma units, ambulances and rescue helicopters.




GE puts focus on core care areas

GE Healthcare has refined its ultrasound systems to better address the needs of several radiology care areas.

GE’s LOGIQ Care Area Series ultrasound systems are customised to radiology specialty areas such as paediatric radiology, vascular laboratories and breast imaging: newborns needing ventricular volume measurements of hydrocephalus; elderly patients requiring real-time ultrasound imaging of the haemodynamics of a pseudoaneurysm; and women undergoing ultrasound imaging of breast lesions.

GE designed the new care area systems with two objectives in mind: excellent imaging performance optimised for each clinical area, and optimal clinical workflow designed to improve healthcare quality and efficiency.

Image quality

LOGIQ continues to be based on GE’s raw data approach to ultrasound imaging. Rather than storing ultrasound images as video pixels, the data is stored as digitised ultrasound waveforms. GE says that this architecture gives extremely high ultrasound fidelity. In the LOGIQ Care Area Series systems, this raw data can be captured in three dimensions in near real-time. This makes ultrasound imaging much like CT or MR imaging in that clinicians, regardless of care area, can view, reprocess, reslice, and review images even after the patient has left the building. GE’s Tomographic Ultrasound Imaging (TUI), gives clinicians access to parallel slices through the captured data, similar to MR and CT.

Workflow

Many clinicians are using this 3D ultrasound in a new way called Volume Imaging Protocol (VIP). In a multicenter study, VIP showed significant improvement on traditional 2D scanning, in some cases up to 55% in time savings.¹ In addition to enabling clinical departments to be more efficient, this new workflow also benefits patients. For example, it is possible to perform an ultrasound scan on babies in a neonatal intensive care unit in less than a minute to capture the same data that would be required in a 10-minute, or longer, traditional study. The reduction in scan time is also expected to help minimise repetitive motion injuries with sonographers and other technicians; the reduced scanning time should reduce the exposure to injury-producing scanning.

Knowing that workflow doesn’t end when the picture is captured, GE continues to invest in workstation solutions and Computer Aided Detection (CAD). For example, one of the Care Area solutions from GE includes a combination of breast ultrasound imaging and CAD from GE partner Medipattern.

Portability

GE has laptop-style compact systems designed for radiology care areas, based on a flexible software platform derived from other high-end GE console ultrasound systems. Initially GE expected the compact systems to facilitate portable ultrasound studies, but is increasingly finding its compact ultrasound systems anywhere that space is at a premium: the operating room, the emergency room and at the patients’ bedside.

“GE accelerates the adoption of ultrasound and the acceptance of new users by focusing our advances to specific clinicians,” said Terri Bresenham, vice president of GE Healthcare’s Diagnostic Ultrasound and IT business. “In every setting, we’re looking at the unique needs of healthcare providers--needs unique to their specific care areas. That principle of applicationspecific ultrasound is the engine behind the new Care Area Series. We intend to optimise ultrasound for each clinician, and then make it available in both a full-size and compact platform.” ¹

VIP Multicenter Study, GE Healthcare.
 

Philips launches new foetal-maternal monitors

Philips has released its Avalon FM40 and FM50 foetalmaternal monitors. The Avalon FM40 and FM50 are the newest additions to the Avalon family of foetal-maternal products, which includes the Avalon Cordless Transducer System (CTS) and the Avalon FM20 and FM30 foetal-maternal monitors.

These innovative monitors can feature a one-of-a-kind external display with touch-screen capability that customers can choose as an option in addition to the monitor’s built-in, 6.5 inch colour, touch-screen display. This larger external display, which comes in various sizes, can be mounted across the room, on a furniture cart in the labour and delivery room, or other convenient locations. This makes the monitors easier for clinicians to use because it allows them to interact with the foetal monitor even when they are not at the patient’s bedside.

The new monitors were specifically designed with clinicians and patients in mind. With the focus on patient comfort the Avalon transducers are constructed with a softer material which adds to the comfort of the mother during antepartum and labour and delivery monitoring. The large, external display allows the family of the patient to become more involved in the birth experience since they can more easily view what is going on at all times; and for obstetricians and midwives to be able to view pertinent patient information at a distance. The ability to interface the FM40 and FM50 with the Avalon Cordless Transducer System (CTS) allows the mother to be mobile while she and her baby are being continuously monitored.

The Philips Avalon FM40 provides an extensive set of external monitoring capabilities, such as external monitoring of uterine activity, up to three foetal heart rates and foetal movement profile (FMP) via ultrasound. The Avalon FM50 includes the external monitoring capabilities of the FM40 and internal foetal measurements including foetal heart rate via direct foetal ECG and intrauterine pressure. Both monitors provide monitoring of maternal blood pressure, SpO2, maternal ECG and maternal heart rate. Both foetal and maternal ECG waves can be displayed on the screen. These new high-end intrapartum and antepartum monitors easily integrate with Philips’ obstetrical information system, OB TraceVue, as well as other information systems.


 Date of upload: 3rd April 2008

                                  
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