Ultrasound Imaging Equipment
Ultrasound imaging equipment works on basic principals. These machine act in the same way that bats do when they fly. First, the machine sends out high frequency sound waves into the body. These waves all travel at the same speed until they come to some sort of a differential. This might be where bone meets tissue or fluids meet tissue. At this border, some of the waves are reflected back to the ultrasound imaging equipment, while others continue on. Once all the waves have returned, the machine determines the distance of the borders by using the length of time that the waves took to return, the intensity of the wave, and the density of tissue. All of this happens in micro-seconds, and the results appear instantaneously. The screen of the ultrasound imaging equipment then shows these distance differences and the intensities usually as a two-dimensional image. The view of the image can be changed simply by moving the probe around or changing its angle.
There are two other types of ultrasound imaging equipment. One of which is the 3-D imaging ultrasound imaging equipment. This compiles many two dimensional images gathered by either inserting the probe into the body or by changing its angle outside. Dozens of 2-D readings are fed into a computer that does the calculations to give a three dimensional readout. This type of ultrasound imaging equipment has proven invaluable to obstetricians looking at fetuses and oncologists examining tumors.
Another kind is the doppler machine. This uses the same principal behind doppler radar to image the interior of the body. Rather than using the time and intensities of returned sound waves, doppler machines use the frequencies. A wave that returns with a higher frequency means means that the object is moving toward the probe, and a lower frequency indicates movement away. The change in frequency determines the speed of the object. This is a helpful tool in the field of cardiology for measuring blood as it flows through the circulatory system.
Physicians from many different fields have found uses for ultrasound imaging equipment. It allows the doctor to look inside the body without exposing the patient to radiation from x-rays. It is also a faster imaging route, and one that is able to see tissues and movement. With their many uses these devices are becoming more and popular in doctors' offices and hospitals. Their usefulness in many practices is such that the office would be incomplete without one.
Imaging is also likely to improve as well, but for now, it is vital that the doctor has quality ultrasound imaging equipment. This will offer the clearest readout as well as having the ability to print the images. Obstetricians already know how important the printer is, since every mother-to-be wants a copy from the ultrasound imaging equipment as her first baby picture. A hard copy is also a useful backup for any imaging session, in case computer files are destroyed or lost. Due to their diagnostic nature, ultrasound imaging equipment is not likely to diminish in their use or popularity. As more and more improvements are made especially in 3-D and doppler, physicians will find more uses for them, and not having one in the office will be seen as a detriment to the patient.