Smaller, More Powerful Ultrasound Devices are BIG News
Image courtesy of Siemens 

Good things come in small packages. In recent years, more power has been packed into more compact ultrasound systems—smaller than a breadbox—and easily portable. Best of all, performance rivals their more traditional, larger cousins. This year, one new system is small enough to fit into a labcoat pocket. While size is news, what’s taking ultrasound imaging to the next level are more features such as live 4D. Overall, ultrasound systems offer improved contrast and image resolution, over-time comparison views, and color. The option to be wireless also provides flexibility throughout the enterprise for laptop and cart ultrasound systems.


Advanced Imaging Technologies (Booth 2179) is introducing image-guided biopsy capabilities as a key component of its real-time, through-wave breast ultrasound device, ARIA BIS. Also being featured is a new workstation designed to deliver multiple image displays including whole breast bilateral and inter-modality and over-time comparison views, as well as superior contrast and spatial resolution of dense tissue. Both new product features make it possible to provide breast imaging, diagnosis and image-guided biopsy in one PACS/DICOM compliant system, the company says.

Biodex Medical Systems (Booth 8924) is showcasing redesigned ultrasound tables. The Sound Pro combination table is equipped to accommodate the imaging needs of ultrasound and echocardiography and offers a height range from 23 to 39 inches, is 30-inches wide, has a 2-to-3-inch thick table pad and accommodates a 500-pound patient.  

GE Healthcare (Booth 1729) is exhibiting their LOGIQ line of laptop-size ultrasound systems. The LOGIQ i laptop-size ultrasound imaging system is suited for beside radiology. The 10-pound system empowers clinicians with volume imaging and wireless capability for comprehensive point-of-care radiology, vascular, neonatal, breast and musculoskeletal imaging, including areas with constricted space such as the intensive care unit or between incubators in the neonatal intensive care unit, the company says. The LOGIQ i features the capacity to store raw ultrasound data and transmit it wirelessly to a workstation.

The LOGIQ 7 shared service ultrasound system features enhanced performance for cardiac applications, including an exclusive tool to allow clinicians to visualize in the hemodynamics of cardiac blood flow, called B-Flow Color, for real-time, more dynamic imaging.

LOGIQworks FX offers the ability to add the advanced image review and post-processing capabilities of LOGIQworks to existing Centricity RA600 and ViewPoint. The system removes the necessity for a separate workstation to achieve enhanced image review of ultrasound studies, including both raw data and volume image processing.

Hitachi Medical Systems America (Booth 1144) is exhibiting their Hi Vision 5500 digital ultrasound system in Chicago. The 5500 performance features include quadra beam processing, Hi Vue circuitry, directional color flow angiography and real-time Doppler measurements. Standard features include a patient and image database management system, enhanced Cine and M-mode recording with Cine-max memory and customizable presets and preset-operation functions.

Medison America (Booth 2903) is showcasing a new ultrasound product, Accuvix V10. 

Accuvix V10 enables enhanced diagnostic accuracy and shortened diagnostic time, providing high-quality images through its 17-inch, 1280x1024 high-resolution flat-panel display set on an articulating arm. The Accuvix V10 provides Doppler image quality using speckle reduction filter, full spectrum imaging, DynamicMR ,and features 2D, 3D and 4D image technologies. 

Philips Medical Systems (Booths 4048, 4129, 4165) is introducing Vision 2008 upgrades for the iU22 ultrasound system. Delivering new workflow and imaging capabilities, the enhancements include the ViewForum workstation. Clinicians can now view ultrasound in the same format as CT and MR, gaining new efficiencies throughout the department. Further, the upgrade enables users to view a sequential block of volume data, virtually rescan at any time to obtain their most diagnostic 2D images, and utilize familiar manipulation and quantification tools. ViewForum provides a total volume imaging solution for any radiology PACS environment.

Also new on the iU22, the C5-1 transducer is a solution for imaging technically difficult patients, including the obese. It provides the penetration needed to get key diagnostic data, while combining the proven image quality of PureWave crystal technology with new developments in tissue aberration correction technology. These advancements compensate for the affects of adipose layers and sub-optimal resolution at extended depths.

In addition, Philips is highlighting Protocols. Fully customizable, clinicians can set up their own protocol for any type of exam. An on-screen list informs users of the required views, images are pre-annotated saving time and keystrokes, and prompts alerts for measurements and modes. Results from several studies show that exam time can be reduced by 30-50 percent using Protocols.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth 7713) is spotlighting its X-class and P-class products, including the new Acuson X300 all-purpose ultrasound system, which is capable of performing vascular age assessments using the syngo Arterial Health Package (AHP) for cardiovascular risk assessment. The technique renders a combined risk score that includes factors such as a measurement of the carotid intima-media thickness, Framingham risk index assessment and comparison with the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) database. syngo AHP combines all of that information to estimate vascular age, enabling physicians to predict a person’s risk of coronary heart disease.

Also part of the X-class, the Acuson X150 ultrasound system is compact and portable and features a field upgradeable system which allows the flexibility to add sensitive color and power Doppler capabilities and a cardiac screening application. The Acuson X150 features 3-Scape real-time 3D imaging for the construction of real-time 3D images during free-hand acquisition. Its15-inch flat panel display is mounted on an articulating arm providing a wide range of motion to achieve a comfortable scanning position.

In the P-Class, Siemens is demonstrating how the industry’s first pocket ultrasound system, the Acuson P10, can be used to complement diagnostic care and triage, in cardiology, emergency care and obstetrics. The system weighs 1.6 pounds, and fits easily into a lab coat pocket, allowing physicians to bring the system to patients. Its emergency applications include FAST (focused assessment with sonography for trauma) to detect fluid, determining cardiac activity and pericardial effusion, as well as detecting abdominal aortic aneurysms and performing pelvic exams.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (Booth 7130) is introducing its 4D volume imaging applications for ultrasound at RSNA. The new 4D applications help physicians to better perform transvaginal/OB, small parts and abdomen imaging procedures, resulting in less variation in the acquired images, the ability to analyze data after a patient is discharged, improved productivity and ultimately a better diagnosis. The 4D transducers on display include: 

  • Microconvex, a transducer unique to Toshiba, which can better image the abdomen and also be used for guidance in R/F ablations.
  • Endocavity, which provides 4D images for transvaginal and OB procedures.
  • Linear, used to image small parts of the anatomy, including the testes, thyroid and breasts.

Zonare Medical Systems (Booth 5305) is showcasing its new ultra system, the company’s next-generation convertible ultrasound platform. Based on Zone Sonography technology, the ultra system features advanced software and hardware and transducer technology, including a new basic cardiac package.

With the touch of a button, clinicians are able to convert the system from a full-featured, cart-based system into a premium compact ultrasound system.

The system’s Zone Sonography software-based architecture allows its performance to be upgraded. System upgrades can be downloaded via the internet, allowing for fast, convenient advances in clinical capabilities and clinicians to cost-effectively maintain the system, the company says.

The company also is showing a basic cardiac package as a works-in-progress at RSNA 2007. Using the P4-1c transducer, the package includes 2D imaging with two harmonic and four fundamental frequencies. It also has M-Mode with a basic calculation package and 2D measurements for evaluating left ventricular function. Additionally, PW Doppler for basic evaluations and measurements is included as well as color Doppler for valvular assessment.

Introduced last year and being shown again this year is the comprehensive obstetrical calculations package. The upgrade includes Nuchal Translucency (NT) and nasal bone length measurements. In addition, cerebella diameter, humeral, radius and ulnar measurements have been added to the OB calculation package, as well as measurements for fetal fibula.