Software that Adjusts Visual Display for Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging

Technology #14445

Orients Image Display to Match Probe Navigation; Provides Background Images for Context and Landmarks

This software and display provide better visual orientation and context during ultrasound imaging, enhancing navigation and interpretation of ultrasound images. The global ultrasound market is expected to reach $6.86 billion by 2020. Available ultrasound units in the United States include an image display that inaccurately reflects the cross-section of the anatomy being explored. The width and depth of the image is small, and although the US probe is freely movable, the US display screen is fixed, as if clinicians were always insonating the body structure from above. In addition, the field of view in a US display is so limited, users can easily get disoriented because the image is too small to include landmarks that would yield context. Clinicians must rely on a mental model of the corresponding anatomy.

Researchers at the University of Florida propose a redesign and realignment of the image display to reflect actual probe position plus the addition of appropriate background images to provide context and landmarks for better navigation during ultrasound imaging. These additions use navigation pads, tracking sensors, anatomical landmark-based navigation and automatic selection/scaling to more accurately reflect US probe tracking and aid image interpretation.

Application

Redesigned display that facilitates ultrasound imaging navigation and interpretation

Advantages

  • Matches display orientation to probe angle, easing interpretation of real-time imaging
  • Provides missing background and landmarks, providing context for better navigation
  • Increases productivity, efficiency and accuracy while minimizing risk of misinterpretation, simplifying US image interpretation and promoting patient safety

Technology

This software and display redesign monitors the position and orientation of a handheld US probe and reflects that relative to the body structure being imaged. It also fills in the missing background of an image to provide context and landmarks using a pre-recorded background that could be a CT or MRI scan. The pre-recorded background is selected from a set of backgrounds corresponding to different image slices of body parts. To make the contextual background more effective, the software could use sensors to measure external anatomical landmarks of the patient that would approximate the body type of the patient to automatically provide a background scaled to match the patient size.