Hitachi unveils new flagship ultrasound scanner

March 9, 2009

Other headlines: TeraRecon upgrades Aquarius iNtuition at ECR 2009iCAD shows expanded CAD portfolio GE tunes into European concerns

Hitachi unveils new flagship ultrasound scanner

Hitachi Medical introduced an ergonomically optimized ultrasound system, the HI Vision Preirus, at ECR 2009. The novel design of the scanner allows its console and LCD to be adjusted to suit the position of the operator along an arc across the front of the scanner. The software-driven system leverages advanced broadband beamforming technology and new single-crystal transducers. "Smart Touch" keys on the control panel allow users to adjust parameters by touching the display. The Patient Specific Selector enables the operator to customize examinations, as well as save and recall results.

Heightening the value of the Preirus are existing technologies. HI-RTE (Hitachi Real-Time Tissue Elastography) promises the ability to differentiate between cancerous and healthy tissue by gauging tissue elasticity. Real-time Virtual sonography fuses real-time ultrasound scans with data previously obtained using CT, MR, or ultrasound.

TeraRecon upgrades Aquarius iNtuition at ECR 2009

TeraRecon's advanced visualization product came to the ECR exhibit floor equipped with new tools and enhancements to some of its old ones. The Aquarius iNtuition Version 4.4 upgrade supports planning to repair the aorta; user-customized protocols that can be exported for interface to radiology information systems; and CT colon review for both 2D and 3D representations. Also included are a time-dependence analysis package for perfusion studies and an enhanced client-server version of the company's oncology package that supports segmentation, analysis, and tracking of masses and lesions found in CT or MR data. TeraRecon has further tweaked the cardiac and vascular analysis tools already onboard Aquarius iNtuition, as well as the web-enabled AquariusWEB viewer.

iCAD shows expanded CAD portfolio

Computer-aided detection remains the core focus of iCAD, but the company, once known only for its mammography products, has a much broader portfolio these days. At ECR 2009, iCAD demonstrated its virtual colonoscopy product, VeraLook, CAD software designed to detect polyps in 3D reconstructions coming from CT scans. Following the usual approach, CAD algorithms tag suspicious findings that deserve a closer look from radiologists. Software packages for processing MR data of the breast and prostate were also shown.

True to its roots in mammography, iCAD demonstrated elements of its next-generation SecondLook Digital CAD now in development. These promise improved performance, including "lesion metrics" that further document CAD findings. Current versions of the company's software are approved and shipping with GE and Fuji full-field digital mammography systems. Ones customized for Agfa, Sectra, Philips, and Planmed were also in the iCAD booth at ECR.

GE tunes in to European concerns

Focusing on company technologies aimed at early-stage diagnosis, GE Healthcare is advocating disease prevention and presymptomatic detection at the ECR this week. In the context of this "Early Health" model of care, GE addressed an issue Europeans were the first to be concerned about: patient radiation dose. The company showcased its Discovery CT750 HD, optimized to cut patient radiation to a fraction of the typically applied dose. GE also focused attention on the new low-dose version of its LightSpeed VCT, the Lightspeed XTe.

GE highlighted as well its flagship ultrasound scanner, the Logiq E9, released late last year and shown at RSNA 2008. Aside from bringing premium technologies to conventional applications, the E9 fuses real-time ultrasound images into those derived from CT, MR, and PET/CT scans.