Renaissance Ultrasound Blog

May 8, 2010

Scanning Cows is Big Business

Filed under: Ultrasound — Leslie @ 10:38 am

I know first hand that there is a demand for sonographers who are versed in veterinary scanning, I am constantly on a quest for qualified personnel to provide ultrasound system training (please contact me if you are looking for per diem work), but I had no idea that conducting ultrasound scans on cattle is not only a growing business, but that there are certification programs available.  There is a class in Arkansas from June 20-25th, in case you are ready for this new challenge.

Renaissance happily provides ultrasound training services for humans, but if you are going into the cattle business, I defer to the experts at ultrasoundbeef.com.  Technicians receive ultrasound training to scan various parts of the bovine carcass to collect the data and determine what type of offspring will be birthed.

According to Shari Beamish, Founder of UltraBeef Ultrasound Services, “CUP stands for Certified Ultrasound Processing. The National CUP Lab and Technology
Center prides itself in being the “unbiased third party” and is based out of Ames, Iowa. CUP trains and certifies field technicians to capture images on three areas of the animal. The four carcass measurements include Rump Fat, Ribeye Area, 12th-13th Rib Fat Thickness, and Percent Intramuscular Fat. After the scan session, the images are sent to the lab in Ames where they are interpreted and cross-referenced by experienced employees in the lab. They guarantee interpretation to be finished in 7 working days but usually average only 2-3 days turn-around time. The results can then be sent back to the producer, or to the appropriate breed association for further analyzing.”

It sounds like the right ultrasound system for this scan would be a portable GE Logiq Book or a durable Sonosite, both of which we can provide on-site ultrasound training for,  but you need to produce your own bovine ultrasound certification.

Breeding the right kind of cow ensures profitability for the farmer, and a tasty meal for us carnivores!

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April 16, 2010

Sonosite Education Key Uses Simple USB Plug-In

Health care professionals with a Sonosite M-Turbo or S-Series portable ultrasound system and who specialize  in the areas of point-of-care: Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, and Critical Care, are able to download training programs.

According to the company “you can plug your SonoSite Education Key directly into your ultrasound system, which allows for true point-of-care training.  The SonoSite Education Key can also be used on any PC or MAC computer with a USB Drive.”

SonoSite states that by “leveraging the integration of Texas Instruments’ multimedia DaVinci™ technology, SonoSite’s Education Key program is available on a USB thumb drive that can be played right on the M-Turbo system itself. The Education Key features clinical training videos with market specific versions for anesthesiology, emergency medicine and critical care. The M-Turbo system training modules are also available to help new users quickly learn how to optimize the system.”

If you are looking for on-site training of the following procedures or if you require ultrasound per diems with this experience, contact Renaissance Ultrasound:

  • Ultrasound Evaluation of the Abdominal Aorta
  • Ultrasound Guided Nerve Blocks
  • Ultrasound Evaluation for Deep Venous Thrombosis
  • Ultrasound Guided Paracentesis
  • Ultrasound Guided Thoracentesis

April 10, 2010

GE’s Logiq E9 Improves Interventional Procedures

GE showcased their new volume navigation technology on the GE Logiq E9 at the Society of Interventional Radiology.  The needle features a highly sensitive electromagnetic tip which improves accuracy and avoidance of key anatomy.

A company representative states “LOGIQ E9’s advanced needle tracking can now help medical professionals utilize ultrasound during in-plane and challenging out-of-plane interventional procedures,” said Brian McEathron, general manager of General Imaging Ultrasound, GE Healthcare. “This can reduce time, limit repeat procedures, improve outcomes and result in a better overall patient experience.”

In addition, “Before the skin is even penetrated, the LOGIQ E9’s advanced technology projects the path to the target, helping to plan the optimal angle and point of entry. During the procedure, the system displays the needle’s position in real-time graphics that are overlaid on the image of the scan plane. The trajectory can then be monitored as it progresses toward the target.”

To read more about the GE Logiq 9 ultrasound system click here

April 2, 2010

Doctor Loses License: Blames Faulty Ultrasound System

A doctor in Sarasota, FL chose to try a complicated  procedure on a patient which was not only risky,but also one he had never performed before – yet he blames the mistake on faulty ultrasound equipment.

“According to an administrative complaint, four years ago Dr. Matthew Kachinas decided to try a procedure called selective fetal reduction, which he never before performed.

State officials said last week at Kachinas’s hearing in Tampa that during the procedure, which was on a woman carrying twins, a healthy one and one with signs of Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect, he aborted the wrong fetus.”

“He blamed faulty ultrasound equipment for his error.”

This is a tragic story for the patient and the family, but as professionals in the ultrasound industry, let’s learn from this mistake (provided nobody performs a risky procedure he is not trained in doing).

If you purchase refurbished ultrasound equipment, make sure you purchase from a reputable company who continues to answer your phone calls post-sale!  The equipment should also come with a standard 90 day warranty with an option to purchase a service contract.  There are several excellent service-related companies who employ former OEM service engineers who know the equipment inside and out.  One such company is Unisyn Medical, located in Golden, CO with depots and engineers across the country.  There is no reason not to have a service contract on your equipment and to get annual inspections, called PMs – preventive maintenance – you prevent something from going wrong or missing/dead elements in a transducer that need to be fixed for better image quality (having a transducer that does not fire at 100% degrades your image and you can lose valuable information).

Next is quality, system-specific ultrasound training, buying refurbished equipment is a great way to save some money, but you need to be trained on how to utilize all of the software features and technology in addition to specific clinical applications.  Our training sessions are customized to the system being used and the staff’s experience level.  When learning a new clinical application a full day will be spent doing lecture and hands-on scanning with CMEs provided from the SDMS.

Granted, the doctor performed a very complex procedure which is beyond Renaissance’s scope, but it is imperative that health care professionals be properly trained on ultrasound equipment and clinical applications to ensure the best patient care possible.  This includes servicing the equipment before something goes wrong!

To read more about the doctor, click here.

March 26, 2010

Siemens S2000 Adds New Feature: Aids in Breast Cancer Detection

Women with dense breast tissue have been termed a technically-difficult patient in the past, but with the new Siemens S2000 ABVS scanner, this is no longer the case.  The innovative device is attached to the ultrasound system and is the world’s first device of its kind, capturing three-dimensional volume images of the breast, including a coronal view, which has not been available with conventional ultrasound.

The system is well-versed in completing a comprehensive breast exam from physician palpation, to scanning with elastography, to capturing 3D volume images, to conducting biopsies.  Siemens S2000 ABVS user, Dr. Frank Stöblen, has stated “The system application is extremely flexible. I can immediately follow-up with a manual examination after an automatic image acquisition or use the system for a biopsy if necessary.”

Advances in technology and in this case, conducting breast screening exams, decreases patient anxiety and increases turn around time for diagnoses.  Patient care is improving when the coronal display of the breast Volume images provide an even better overview of the anatomy and architecture of the breast tissue than earlier techniques. These 3D images are now able to display the coronal view of the breast (from the nipple to the breast wall) in slices. This view simplifies and accelerates the diagnosis.

To receive on-site training for breast imaging or ultrasound system training, click on the link to learn more at RenaissanceUltrasound.

Siemens S2000 ABVS

March 18, 2010

SonoSite’s NanoMaxx and GE’s Venue Ultrasound Systems

Filed under: Anesthesia,GE Ultrasound,Portable Ultrasound,SonoSite — Leslie @ 4:19 pm
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It seems like yesterday when I first plugged in my computer and connected to AOL, I can still hear the unmistakable sound of connection as a new world opened up.  As technology in our computers and cell phones change daily, so does the technology in ultrasound.  Sure some of the systems are smaller and faster, but do they truly provide the same diagnostic accuracy as their big brothers?

Behold the SonoSite  NanoMaxx ultrasound system which, according to the company, “is an extremely portable, high-resolution imaging tool that provides point-of-care visualization to a variety of medical specialties. Empowering physicians to meet the highest standard of patient care, the NanoMaxx system targets applications that will improve patient safety and minimize complications. With one-dial control, advanced proprietary imaging algorithms, a 20 second boot-up time, and a rugged form factor (successfully drop-tested from three feet), the NanoMaxx system is a breakthrough technology that truly meets an unmet clinical need.”

Although SonoSite has been the leader in portable ultrasound systems, GE’s Venue(TM) ultrasound system is like an a la carte diagnostic device: Choose your desired modality and you are off and running.  The system is without a keyboard and instead contains a USB and SM card so that the clinician can plug in the probe, scan, review results.  The portable ultrasound system was designed for vascular, anesthesia, interventional,  musculoskeletal  and point of care modalities.

There is definitely a need for the light-weight and portable in a point of care environment, time will tell how these mighty systems compare to the dinosaurs before them.

SonoSite Nanomaxx


GE Venue 40


Learn more at www.SonoSite.com and www.GeHealthcare.com

March 17, 2010

Toshiba’s Aplio MX Debuts at ACC 2010

Filed under: Ultrasound — Leslie @ 12:48 pm

Although Toshiba is not considered one of the Big 3, they deserve some kudos for their technology, being in the business of  providing training for system-specific ultrasound equipment, my clinical team who used to work for Toshiba, has taught me to have a great sense of respect and appreciation for those scanning with the Toshiba systems.  The training process is not as straight-forward as some, each unit is highly customizable to the unique imaging and reading style of the clinicians utilizing it.

Toshiba showcased their latest innovation in cardiac capabilities on both the Aplio MX(tm) and the Aplio Artida(tm).

According to Business Wire, “Features of the Aplio MX include:

  • Contrast Harmonics to provide the ability to use bubble based contrast agents that help to provide better tissue definition on difficult-to-image patients during echocardiograms.
  • Differential Tissue Harmonic Imaging for the better imaging of difficult-to-image patients, like bariatric, without sacrificing resolution to give superior border and tissue definition.
  • ApliPure+ to enhance both image clarity and detail definition with real-time compounding technology to simultaneously perform spatial and frequency compounding during transmitting and receiving.
  • Advanced Dynamic Flow to provide color Doppler imaging at an unprecedented level and show flow with directional information for even the smallest vessels.
  • Tissue Doppler Imaging Quantification (TDIQ) software to perform various analyses by Angle Corrected Displacement and Strain to measure myocardial viability.

Toshiba’s Aplio Artida ultrasound system offers the power of 4D imaging in an everyday clinical setting. Artida offers advanced quantitative analysis tools with the world’s first 3D Wall Motion Tracking. 3D Wall Motion Tracking allows sonographers and physicians to quickly and accurately identify wall motion defects and the timing of cardiac events. This greatly improves the detection of wall motion abnormalities in many cardiac disease states and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT), and helps physicians optimize pacemaker settings.

Using Artida’s real-time, multi-planar reformatting capabilities, physicians can assess global and regional LV function, including volumetric LV ejection fraction. Arbitrary views of the heart, not available in 2D imaging, are also obtained to help with surgical planning. The 3D Wall Motion Tracking features from Toshiba allow the user to obtain angle-independent, global and regional information about myocardial contraction.”

To read more click here

March 12, 2010

Upcoming Ultrasound Tradeshows

Ahhhh, the sound of happy feet not having to support me for 8 hours while standing in the trade show booth greeting and educating customers on the latest and greatest innovations.  It’s kind of hard to explain why our technology was so much better than the competition’s when they essentially were the same – ugh.

Now I travel to network my company, Renaissance Ultrasound, and learn about the new technologies so that I can ensure my team is up to date.  Kudos to those writing and submitting clinical papers!

Here’s a list of some of the upcoming tradeshows over the next few months – hope to see you there!


SIR Society of Interventional Radiology March 14-17 Tampa, FL
ACC American College of Cardiology March 14-16 Atlanta, GA
AIUM American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine March 24-27 San Diego, CA
SPA Society of Pediatric Anesthesiology April 16-17 San Antonio, TX
AMSSM American Medical Society for Sports Medicine April 17-20 Cancun, Mexico
ACP American College of Physicians April 22-24 Toronto, Canada
ASRA American Society of Regional Anesthesia April 22-25 Toronto, Canada
ASBS American Society of Breast Surgeons April 29-May 1 Las Vegas, NV

March 6, 2010

Ultrasound System Training – Who Needs it?

So… somebody decided to purchase a refurbished ultrasound system (better known as used equipment), it was within the budget, it came with a 90 day warranty, and the user thought “How hard can this be? I’ve been scanning for years with a different system, but they’re all the same, right?” Well, no, not really.  I think that buying an ultrasound system from a reputable reseller is often a good idea when budgets are tight, it’s kind of like buying a new vs. a used car, new things drop in value as soon as they are bought so often you can get a relatively new ultrasound system for a great price.  However, if you buy a system that nobody has scanned on before you are not maximizing that investment and getting the most out of its features.

Many of the systems have the same types of general features such as image optimization, but do you know where that knob/button is and how best to utilize it to capture the image?  What about the DICOM features on the system?  What about learning how to start doing aortas or stress in a cardiology practice?  What if you are now scanning on a different version (we call them revision levels) of an ultrasound system, do you know what’s the same or what has changed?

Take me to Renaissance System Training!

Nobody has time to sit down and read the manual (if you even got one with your system delivery), so rely on an expert to come to your site and teach you about that newly acquired ultrasound system so that you can begin taking better images resulting in better diagnoses.

Now… if only someone could show me how to change the clock in my used SUV…

February 5, 2010

Check Your Heart. Check Your Lungs. Check Your Boob.

OK – I’m straying from our world of ultrasound to talk about what appears to be an amazing new product on the market.  We all know that Elastography is the latest and greatest technology is helping detect breast malignincies.  Some companies execute through the transducer and others through proprietary software and hardware.  But both come with a hefty price tag and a full-blown ultrasound system.  What if there was a different way?  A hand-held, laptop device that without the physics knowledge base of a sonographer or physician, could easily print an image with report findings related to benign or malignant breast lesions.

Not possible?  Take a look:

This is not a diagnostic device and it is to be used by the physician to better inform the patient about next steps, either recommending a biopsy, ultrasound, or mammogram, based on the findings of the SureTouch system.   The price point is well under $20,000 and it seems to me that it should be a staple in every internal medicine, OB/GYN, and family practice office.  Breast cancer in men is on the rise, and this could become part of their annual check up along with their prostate exam.

Our heart and lungs are routinely screened, our boobs should be to.

Learn more at medicaltactile.com

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