An Oxford University (Oxford, UK) spin-out has developed software that enhances the detail and field of view of conventional ultrasound images.
Called IDF (Intelligent Data Fusion) Echo, it was unveiled today by Intelligent Ultrasound (Oxford, UK) at the Healthcare Innovation Expo 2013 at London's ExCel Centre.
While widely and routinely used, standard ultrasound scans can be prone to image quality problems and have a limited field of view, meaning that a single view of the entire organ is impossible to obtain and that a definitive diagnosis cannot be made.
IDF Echo tackles this problem by generating a composite image from a number of scans. This image delivers better-quality information than the individual component scans. The key benefit is that this can make diagnosis possible without the need for referral to MRI or CT scans, which are many times more expensive than ultrasound.
IDF Echo builds on work led by Professor Alison Noble and her team at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Oxford University which was originally funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
It is now available for equipment manufacturers to incorporate into their ultrasound machines. Evaluations have already been undertaken with the involvement of clinical groups in Oxford and Intelligent Ultrasound is now looking to extend evaluations to other NHS hospitals.
The company is currently developing similar products designed to enhance the use of ultrasound in other areas of healthcare, such as obstetrics.
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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design