Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 19, 2019

Advancements in Ultrasound Technology


An ultrasound machine is a device that can make images of organs inside of the body, which allows the organs to be examined thoroughly for a variety of purposes. These machines send out sound waves at a high frequency, which then reflect off of the structures within the body. These waves will be received by a computer before being turned into images that can be viewed by doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals. Over the years, there have been many technological advancements in ultrasound technology that have allowed for more precise imagery and better methods of capturing images. The following offers a detailed look at some of the latest advancements in this technology.

Uses of Ultrasound Machines

Ultrasound machines can be used for a wide range of different applications, the primary of which is a pregnancy scan. During this scan, the doctor who administers the ultrasound can identify the position and age of the fetus, how fetal development is going, and if there are any fetal abnormalities. Some of the additional scans that can be performed with an ultrasound machine include pelvic scans, abdominal scans, and musculoskeletal scans.

Why Portable Ultrasound Machines Are Necessary

Among the more modern ultrasound machines that can be used in healthcare settings are portable ultrasound machines, which typically come in the form of a handheld scanner and are designed to make the process much more convenient for the doctor and patient. These devices provide doctors and practitioners with the ability to perform an ultrasound anywhere without needing to push around a large and bulky console unit.

While portable ultrasound machines were once too costly for smaller practitioners, the increasing usage of these systems has driven the cost down, which makes them highly beneficial when used at smaller clinics. If you have a low number of patients who require ultrasounds, it may be better for you to purchase a portable ultrasound machine as opposed to a console unit.

The Accuracy of a Portable Ultrasound Machine Vs. Console Units

As is the case with standard console units of ultrasound machines, portable machines can differ in accuracy depending on the quality of the machine. While low-end and older machines are considerably less accurate than console units and will provide you with poor image quality on the fully-rendered scan, high-end models offer similar results when compared to console units.

Keep in mind that some portable ultrasound machines are laptop-based. Even though these units are larger than handheld ultrasound machines, they still offer you great portability. If you want a portable ultrasound machine that mirrors the accuracy of a console unit, some of the top features that you should look for include Speckle Reduction Imaging, LCD monitors, automatic image optimization, the use of single-crystal probes, and advanced compound imaging.

Main Advancements in Ultrasound Technology

Over the past decade, there have been many fantastic advancements in ultrasound technology, the majority of which have made their way into portable ultrasound machines. In fact, the portable versions of ultrasound machines now rival console units in image quality. One advancement that was initially only available in console units is the inclusion of advanced compound imaging, which occurs when the images from the ultrasound are taken from several different directions before being combined into a single image. This technology helps to enhance border differentiation and tissue interfaces.

Handheld ultrasound machines can now be made with dual-probe technology, which occurs when two transducers are placed into a single probe. This technology allows for more precise and reliable results. Most dual-probe models will include linear-array and phased transducers. The LCD screens that are used on these portable ultrasound machines are also improving with each passing day. Currently, intelligent fetal imaging technology is being developed for ultrasounds that may be able to improve the rate at which congenital abnormalities are caught with a 20-week scan. Once this technology is ready for the market, it shouldn't be long before it makes its way into portable ultrasound machines.

Now that you know more about the many advancements in ultrasound technology, you might want to consider obtaining an upgraded ultrasound machine to make sure that you have the best technology available to you. If you are getting ready to receive an ultrasound, consider inquiring about portable ultrasound machines to make sure that you receive optimal care.

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