Ultrasound & Echocardiography: The Images are Speaking Volumes

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New systems are gaining significantly in portability, 3D and 4D scanning, wireless capabilities, multiplanar imaging, ergonomics and automatic image optimization. Better measurements and workflow enhancements are being offered, too.

GE Healthcare (Booth #2700) will be showing off a host of new products, including two new systems for cardiovascular ultrasound, three new products for general imaging and new capabilities for the Voluson 730 Expert System for use in obstetrics and gynecology. Also on display is the new LOGIQ Book XP.

The Vivid 7 Dimension cardiovascular ultrasound system, with real-time 4D and multidimensional imaging capabilities, brings new echocardiography acquisition, reconstruction, and analysis techniques that allow physicians to view images in multiple planes simultaneously. New clinical tools include: multidimensional imaging, with acquisition technology that acquires bi-plane and tri-plane images with color and Doppler; 4D imaging, with real-time display of 3D imagines of the heart; 4D tissue synchronization imaging, a dynamic 4D parametric imaging model of dyssynchrony from a single heart beat; and bloodflow imaging, a vascular imaging mode.

The Vivid i, a miniaturized cardiovascular ultrasound system, features a portable, wireless design. The system's clinical utility and light weight make it ideal for urgent care, emergency room, critical care, and operating room use, according to the company.

In general imaging, GE is featuring the new LOGIQ 9, a new release on the LOGIQ 7 and the new LOGIQworks Workstation. The LOGIQ 9 premium system offers volume and multi-planar imaging. With LOGIQ 9 and new 4D transducer technologies, clinicians can acquire and construct volumetric images instantaneously, up to 30 volumes per second. The system is built on GE's TruScan architecture that enables automatic image optimization and the flexibility of raw data manipulation and management.

The LOGIQ 7 has new shared service capabilities. CrossXBeam spatial compounding and Speckle Reduction Imaging (SRI) optimize image quality for a full range of clinical applications. For cardiovascular imaging, the system offers transesophageal scanning and stress echo and quantitative tools such as Q-Analysis, Tissue Velocity Imaging (TVI) and Tissue Velocity Doppler (TVD).

LOGIQworks is a workstation that integrates GE's raw data processing and Centricity multi-modality workstation for high-performance processing and image review. A scaleable solution based on DICOM standards, LOGIQworks can support any clinical setting, from an imaging department to a fully networked  healthcare enterprise. The workstation features quick organ review, multi-planar measurement tools and volume analysis.

GE also is debuting new Volume Ultrasound capabilities on the Voluson 730 Expert system. Building on 4D imaging, the Voluson 730 Expert allows clinicians to acquire, optimize, navigate and analyze volumetric data in real-time. New 4D transducers and Inversion Mode and Speckle Reduction Imaging further enhance visualization and diagnostic confidence with the system, according to GE.

Lastly, the new LOGIQ Book XP enables cardiac assessment and trauma and surgical imaging. It delivers a broad range of clinical applications and connectivity solutions that give clinicians the confidence and freedom to scan outside of the department, GE said. In some cases, such as in surgery or the emergency department, the system's clinical and IT capabilities can help physicians make rapid life-critical decisions and enable remote consultation - when every second counts.

Philips Medical Systems (Booth #7171) is showcasing the Philips iU22 intelligent ultrasound system at RSNA that combines advanced ergonomics with new levels of automation. With xSTREAM architecture, the system includes 3D and 4D imaging.

The Philips iU22 intelligent ultrasound system provides revolutionary performance and workflow by combining advanced ergonomics with new levels of automation. The iU22 features the latest breakthroughs in high definition imaging and diagnostic capability improving accuracy and user confidence. In addition, Philips exclusive xSTREAM architecture is built for today and tomorrow, with advanced imaging technologies, including 3D and 4D imaging for the first time on a premium ultrasound system. In one ultrasound system, clinicians get exam efficiency, more automation and ease of use, and the most ergonomic system available in the industry (according to an independent study).

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth# 2729) is showcasing advancements in ultrasound that include its new fourSight 4D ultrasound imaging technology on the Sonoline Antares ultrasound systems. The 4D imaging capabilities allow for real-time display of three-dimensional images. The company also is focusing on the ultra-premium Acuson Sequoia ultrasound platform - the best selling ultrasound system in the U.S. for seven years running according to Klein Biomedical Consultants. Siemens is unveiling new features for the system, but wasn't providing details prior to showtime.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (Booth #7149) is launching a new xV software package for the Aplio ultrasound system. Aplio xV features four technologies, including the patent-pending Differential Tissue Harmonic technology, providing increased resolution at maximum depth which is useful for technically difficult studies. Aplio xV provides higher diagnostic confidence and improved productivity, Toshiba said. The installed base of Aplio units can be upgraded with xV.

Toshiba also is showcasing Nemio system that includes: Quad signal processing that enables higher frame rates for physiologic studies; Tissue Harmonic Imaging; a fully programmable console for one-touch operation to streamline workflow; and communications that allow it to communicate with any DICOM or non-DICOM clinical environment via the simPACS image management system. A 4D feature that includes distance, area and volume measurements is pending FDA clearance.

Medison America (Booth #8313) is showing its new comprehensive diagnostic ultrasound image processing package, 3D-eXtended Imaging or 3D-XI.  Developed for the Accuvix XQ ultrasound system, the 3D-XI package includes: Multi-Slice View technology to enable, with a press of a button,  3D ultrasound anatomy to be displayed as precise serial slices similar to that of MR or CT imaging. As with CT and MR, the user can determine the exact distance between each displayed anatomical slice with slice increments 0.5mm to 3mm; Oblique View to enable the user to display oblique scan planes from acquired 3D volume anatomy; and VolumeCT, a tool to visually display the relationship of the coronal, sagittal, and axial views of the 3D data set. Each scan plane as well as the entire volume data set are interactive, providing a more precise orientation of the displayed intersecting anatomical data, Medison said.

Zonare (Booth #2370) is launching the company's first Zone Sonography platform. Combining an advance in ultrasound technology with a new physical design to achieve maximum customer value, the flexibility of the z.one platform is being designed to provide clinical solutions for a wide variety of imaging needs in general imaging, obstetrics, gynecology, vascular and other emerging ultrasound applications, the company said. The software architecture of the z.one platform allows rapid upgrades at an economical price. Other advantages of Zone Sonography include a new approach to data acquisition and image formation. The system acquires data quickly in relatively few large zones rather than many narrow lines, allowing more rapid image storage, processing and display. The z.one system aggregates the original channel data and stores this information in Channel Domain Memory. All of the original raw echo information is then utilized in Channel Domain Processing to form the image and to provide greater options for image post-processing.

In addition, Zone Sonography makes it possible to produce, what the calls, the first convertible ultrasound system. This allows the clinician to convert the z.one platform from a full-featured cart system into a compact, portable system quickly.

TeraRecon (Booth #4343) and Fukuda-Denshi are announcing a new mid-range cart-based ultrasound system, the UF-850XTD. This multi-application, fully digital scanner includes an adjustable 15" LCD monitor. The digital system architecture coupled with tissue harmonic imaging provides higher definition and higher frequency imaging to serve a wide range of diagnostic imaging needs such as cardiology, diagnostic radiology, OB-GYN, and other general imaging applications, according to the company.