ATL's new digital scanners take spotlight

New digital ultrasound scanners will take center stage at the ATL Ultrasound booth (Hall A, #2103). The Bothell, WA, company this year introduced a brace of scanners: HDI 5000, a new flagship premium system, and HDI 1000, a mid-range platform that uses

New digital ultrasound scanners will take center stage at the ATL Ultrasound booth (Hall A, #2103). The Bothell, WA, company this year introduced a brace of scanners: HDI 5000, a new flagship premium system, and HDI 1000, a mid-range platform that uses software in place of hardware to achieve high performance at a lower price. Together with the workhorse HDI 3000, ATL believes it has the broadest range of digital scanners in the industry. ATL began shipping HDI 5000 for cardiology and radiology applications in November.

At the RSNA show, ATL will introduce two major new capabilities for HDI 5000, according to Jim Brown, senior director of product marketing. The first is Integrated 3DI, which enables gray-scale 3-D imaging without the use of a separate workstation. Integrated 3DI complements ATL's 3-D technique for power Doppler images. Reconstruction times range from five seconds to 30 seconds depending on the rotation speed of the image.

For more advanced 3-D applications, ATL will again display the workstation it is developing in cooperation with Vital Images of Minneapolis. Now named Advanced 3DI, the work-in-progress workstation is based on the Silicon Graphics O2 computer and supports image postprocessing, surface renderings, fly-throughs, and quantitative 3-D techniques. ATL will begin offering Advanced 3DI as a commercial product some time around the RSNA meeting, Brown said.

The second capability for HDI 5000 to highlight at the RSNA show is Tissue Harmonic Imaging, which is also available on HDI 3000 for radiology and cardiology applications. Like Acuson, ATL reports that it is receiving positive feedback from its clinical investigators regarding the use of the feature for difficult-to-image patients. Sonographers are seeing improvements in visualizing anatomy that they were not able to see clearly without the technique, according to Cass Diaz, senior vice president of sales and marketing. Tissue Harmonic Imaging does not require the use of a contrast agent, but the company will also show work on contrast-based harmonics, Brown said.