UW, Siemens Unveil New Panoramic Ultrasound Imaging Application Using Programmable Technology

SEATTLE, Wash -- A powerful new technology that allows ultrasound medical imaging systems for the first time to be programmed for multiple diagnostic applications was unveiled today by collaborating engineers from Siemens Ultrasound and the University of Washington. The breakthrough, a programmable image processor, adds the power of a supercomputer to an ultrasound imaging system and provides the ability to use software instead of hardware to develop new diagnostic applications. The result will be clinical applications developed more quickly and cost effectively.

The ultrasound image processor, jointly developed by the UW Image Computing Systems Laboratory and by Siemens Ultrasound Group, can perform more than four billion operations per second and matches the power of 40 high-end Pentium processors. It uses powerful programmable hardware technology and software functions conceived and developed by Yongmin Kim, UW professor of electrical engineering, and his research team.

"The image processor can be programmed for many applications, opening a new chapter in ultrasound technology," Yongmin Kim said.

The Siemens engineering team, led by Jin Kim, vice president of research and development, integrated the ultrasound image processor into the Siemens SONOLINE Elegra system. His team, working with ultrasound technicians, created the first application, SieScape imaging, which was demonstrated today at a joint press conference on the UW campus. Lothar Koob, Siemens Ultrasound Group vice president, stated, "This technology will significantly decrease the amount of time and cost involved in moving an idea for a new ultrasound imaging application into the clinical setting where it can help in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. This is a fundamental shift for the ultrasound industry."

Programmed to run on the image processor, SieScape imaging dramatically increases the field of view in ultrasound by displaying panoramic pictures of internal organs an

Contact: Greg Orwig
University of Washington

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