Poor quality of the heart image on ultrasound often leads to additional tests, which tend to be more difficult on the patients and come with high costs. The Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is now the first hospital in the world to use GE‘s new ultrasound software that creates surprisingly detailed animated imagery of the heart’s anatomy and its activity.
Called cSound, the software accepts an unfiltered signal coming from the hardware components, saving it for comprehensive processing. It then works pixel by pixel to recreate the image, utilizing the data that would have otherwise been discarded. The result is a moving, highly accurate representation of the heart, including the motion of valves that often point to disease and poorly placed artificial valves that tend to leak. The technology is also particularly beneficial for overweight patients and those with lung diseases that typically attenuate the ultrasound signal to the point that it comes back lacking in detail.
The secret behind the software, called cSound and designed by GE Healthcare for its newest cardiovascular ultrasound systems, is in its supercomputer-inspired ability to collect a potentially infinite amount of data from the patient and select pixel-by-pixel precise information to use in generating the image, all inside a machine that is portable, low cost and has no ionizing radiation.
The ultrasound has the potential to rapidly transform how patients are cared for over the next decade, especially in cardiovascular care. The engineers behind this software envision a day when all cardiologists can see inside any heart, providing more directed care for each patient.
Traditional hardware-based beamforming machines can only process each individual piece of data separately, thus losing some in the process, which may produce unclear images. cSound stores and collects a practically infinite amount of channel data and does so faster than traditional systems.
HDliveTM- an app that, like a high-end, post-production video studio, uses advanced illumination, shadowing and superimposed depth, to render a real-time amazingly realistic visualization of the patient’s heart. HDlive can be used to enhance 4D depth perception during image-guided interventions or in the echo lab for transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE) and transesophageal Echocardiograms (TEE).
cSound is now commercially available on three new advanced ultrasound machines from GE Healthcare, the Vivid S70, Vivid E90 and Vivid E95, in the U.S., and some countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.