Newest High Resolution 3D Ultrasound Technology
In an era of low payouts and a health care reform environment in which health care providers are being asked to become more productive, increasing the number of patients without loss of quality has become a major topic. On ultrasound imaging technology and their reporting counterparts, this means streamlining the workflow process. New-generation ultrasound systems offer features such as fewer drop-down menus, fewer keystrokes, shorter processing times, automated or semi-automated measurements. Here is a list of key trends in ultrasound technology over the last two years. For hospitals considering purchasing new imaging systems, this list will be useful for comparing providers.
Integration Of Artificial Intelligence In The Ultrasound
Artificial Automation (AI) begins to automate tedious tasks, quantify and select the ideal image slice in a 3D dataset. Many high-end ultrasound systems already incorporate some level of AI and most new systems at all levels will likely incorporate increasing levels of AI.
The integration of artificial intelligence algorithms into the background of ultrasonic systems began a few years ago, intending to speed up processes. Elements of this information are incorporated into the Siemens eSie Flow Valve Analysis Software for the evaluation of 3D heart valves. Philips’ Epiq system uses anatomical intelligence, which allows AI to identify automatically, segment and color-code the anatomy in the scan field. It can also select the optimal scan slice view for various exams, extracting it from 3D datasets, improving reproducibility regardless of the ultrasound technologist’s level of experience. Philips Epiq and Affiniti ultrasonic systems featured at RSNA 2018 provide anatomical intelligence for breast imaging to improve reproducibility and streamline workflow. Automation and Artificial Intelligence provide a visual mapping and annotation of the filtered anatomy, with minimal user interaction.
Advances In Ultrasound 3d
The slower frame rates and the increased expense of three-dimensional ultrasound have limited its uptake, but its application in some specialty areas has made it possible to extend therapies such as transcatheter structural heart interventions rapidly. The use of 3D has great applications when imaging is used by specialists for procedure planning or orientation, while 3D can offer a “surgical view” of anatomy. The technology is also used to help guide catheter procedures in complex anatomy.
“The technology continues to improve for the 3D sonogram,” said Sunil Mankad, MD, FASE, director of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. “In cardiology, this allows you to relate to the underlying structures, I do not think we’re ready to put the 2D echo on the bed, because you usually need a combination of both, but 3D is essential for things like structural heart assessments.”
He added that all providers and local 3D sonogram technicians were improving with increased frame rate, better resolution and improved color Doppler. Mankad said the trend was clearly to support 3D over 2D market share in the coming years.
New Methods Of Ultrasonic Visualization
Providers went beyond basic 2D and 3D imagery to offer new image reconstruction methods to speed up and make assessments more understandable.
The new imagery unveiled at RSNA 2018 has been developed to treat cardiac and brain imaging of the fetus. Detailed fetal heart assessments are difficult to perform because of the small size and extremely fast heart rate. At 18 weeks, the heart of the fetus is about the size of an olive and beats about 150 times a minute. Besides, the structure itself is extremely complex and, with the baby constantly moving, it is always a moving target. Imaging is important because congenital heart disease affects one in every 110 babies born in the world.