The evolution of ultrasound imaging has introduced greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness, making it the most popular technology in the diagnostics sector.
FREMONT, CA: The ultrasound imaging technology has witnessed tremendous progress since its inception. Although it has been almost five decades since the technology established its presence in the healthcare landscape, the recent developments have bolstered its foothold in the industry. Ultrasound devices have become considerably compact and power-efficient. Also, the significant enhancements in imaging quality have pushed it to point-of-care settings.
Ultrasound devices are being adopted in emergency rooms, PCP offices, and obstetric practices to implement cost-effectiveness and efficiency. The technology has enhanced diagnostics by facilitating immediate results, thus replacing the less effective diagnostic approaches. Its applications have proliferated across multiple clinical settings, including obstetrics, gynecology, orthopedics, cardiology, emergency medicine, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and so on.
The incorporation of ultrasound imaging technology has introduced higher speed, efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and noninvasiveness, giving it an edge over other imaging modalities. Ultrasound technology is relatively economical, as even the most advanced ultrasound device is significantly less expensive than a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system.
Ultrasound imaging has undergone rapid development with device miniaturization and robust computing. Also, the commercialization of compact, hand-held devices has made a significant impact on the sector. These devices are increasingly being adopted by clinicians all across the globe, including point-of-care diagnosis for the imaging of internal organs such as the abdomen, kidney, heart, and peripheral vasculature.
The increase of computational power in the traditional systems and the incorporation of robust algorithms for enhanced image reconstruction and display have significantly improved diagnosis. The development of tissue harmonic imaging has enabled the elimination of unwanted noise from the images.
The latest ultrasound devices offer images in higher resolutions, thus allowing the physicians to conduct an enhanced diagnosis. The development in computer technology and real-time processing has enabled organizations to build ultrasound devices capable of generating clear images. The augmentation of image quality has led to its utilization in interventional procedures conventionally dominated by technologies such as computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It is becoming more common for clinicians to leverage ultrasound for image-guided biopsies and ablations.
Volumetric ultrasound technology has made significant progress in the medical sector. The incorporation of robust transducers has enabled clinicians to image in multiple planes simultaneously. It has empowered physicians to characterize the tissues with greater accuracy.
Another emerging technology, Sonoelastography, leverages b-mode ultrasound to assess tissue stiffness. It evaluates the mechanical characteristics of tissues before overlaying them on the b-mode ultrasound image. It enables physicians to view the stiffer and softer regions of the tissue, aiding in liver fibrosis staging, thyroid nodule, lymph node, intermediate breast lump characterization, and detection of prostate cancer.
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is another ultrasound technology which is beginning to establish its presence in the medical sector. It leverages a small amount of contrast agent comprising gas-filled microbubbles, injecting it into the body. The blood carries the tiny microbubbles to the organs and enhances the visualization of the target parts. It is most useful in patients suffering from kidney diseases.
Ultrasound imaging technology has the edge over other imaging technology when it comes to the generation of real-time imaging of anatomical structures. Organizations are also seeking to push the technology toward functional and volume imaging for higher efficiency and cost-effectiveness. 3D and 4D ultrasound imaging are increasingly used for guiding interventional medical procedures.
The accuracy and efficiency of 3D ultrasound imaging in visualizing tissues and organs make it ideal for surgical tasks and complex procedures. It also has a fast image acquisition rate of over 30 volumes per second. However, volume-rendered images often enhance the noise and distortions in 3D images, giving rise to irregular surfaces.
The rapid innovation in the landscape of ultrasound imaging is bringing the technology to the forefront of medical diagnostics. The competition in the market has spurred manufacturers to innovate and upgrade their offerings continually. The modern ultrasound devices are compact and efficient, providing higher image quality.