GE licenses fetal heart image acquisition method

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Dec. 7 – GE Healthcare has licensed a technique patented by an Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) obstetrician that can automate the acquisition of ultrasound images used by physicians to diagnose fetal heart defects.

Alfred Abuhamad, MD, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at EVMS developed the automation protocol, called Sonography-based volume computer-aided diagnosis (SonoVCAD).

GE said it has incorporated Abuhamad’s automation protocol in the Voluson E8, the new version of its GE Voluson ultrasound platform for women’s healthcare. The new 3D/4D ultrasound system includes a number of new tools to help improve clinical workflow, including SonoVCAD, according to the company.

According to the American Heart Association, congenital heart defects rank as the most common birth defect and the number one cause of death during the first year of life. Each year in the Unites States, twice as many children die from congenital heart disease as die from all forms of childhood cancers combined.