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Ultrasound Breakthrough Allows Doctors to Examine Patients Remotely
“It’s like the patient is sitting right there getting a real-time exam.” -- Adi Baruch
(Israel) – The idea of ultrasound technology is to give radiologists a dynamic look at moving parts inside the body. However, most ultrasound scans today are done by technicians – so the radiologist is reviewing recorded images or video clips instead of seeing the full real-time picture.
As a result, the doctor may miss something important or send the patient for a repeat ultrasound or a more costly and invasive diagnostic imaging.
A new invention from Israel will enable physicians to manipulate captured ultrasound video and perform a virtual dynamic exam without the patient present.
“Ultrasound is a volume created by many frames, so all the data exists, but cannot be seen. By taking apart the video and building it again we can navigate inside and see everything that’s going on,” explains Adi Baruch, cofounder and CEO of iNNOGING Medical.
“Our technology quite simply converts the video clip into a 3D model.”
The doctor maneuvers through this 3D model with iNNOGING’s Probe & Pad hardware attached to any computer. The probe is identical to the transducer used in a live ultrasound exam, while the pad simulates the patient’s body. There’s no special training needed for any doctor who already knows how to perform an ultrasound.
“It’s like the patient is sitting right there getting a real-time exam,” says Baruch.
Breakthrough in sonography
The iNNOGING software and hardware were invented in the Kinematics and Computational Geometry Lab at Israel’s Ariel University, co-directed by Dr. Nir Shvalb, and licensed through the Ariel Scientific Innovations tech-transfer company.
Shvalb previously helped invent the ViRob micro-robot platform commercialized by Microbot Medical and founded Memic Innovative Surgery based on his uniquely small, flexible robotic surgical system called Hominis.
Shvalb envisioned the remote ultrasound viewing and analyzing tool as a training simulator that student doctors and technicians could use at home. Existing simulators are expensive and bulky.
“By taking apart the video and building it again we can navigate inside and see everything that’s going on.”
Brought into the project for his international expertise in medical devices, Baruch immediately recognized that Shvalb’s invention had much broader implications: it could bring an entirely new capability to doctors in order to increase diagnostic accuracy and reduce medical costs.
He believes this is nothing less than a breakthrough.
“No other ultrasound technology advancements at the moment are focused on the doctor,” Baruch tells ISRAEL21c. “Most of the developments are about helping technicians capture better video images. Our technology is focused on the doctor doing the diagnosis without seeing the patient.”
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