Ultrasound

AXREM has a Specialist Focus Group (SFG) that supports and represents members of the healthcare imaging supplier industry who provide most of the diagnostic medical Ultrasound imaging equipment installed in UK hospitals. Our member companies and their employees work side by side with hospital Consultants and Clinicians to enable them to deliver advanced healthcare to patients by promoting best practice based on the knowledge and experience of the industry providers.

Medical ultrasound (also known as diagnostic sonography or ultrasonography) is a diagnostic imaging technique based on the application of ultrasound. It is used to see internal body structures such as tendons, muscles, joints, vessels and internal organs. Its aim is often to find a source of a disease or to exclude any pathology. The practice of examining pregnant women using ultrasound is called obstetric ultrasound, and is widely used from the earliest stages of pregnancy onwards.

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Ultrasound is sound waves with frequencies that are higher than those audible to humans (>20,000 Hz). Ultrasound images are made by sending pulses of ultrasound into tissue using a transducer lightly applied to the skin surface, or sometimes internally. The sound echoes off the tissue; with different tissues reflecting varying degrees of sound. These echoes are recorded and displayed as an image to the operator.

Differing types of images can be generated by the Ultrasound scanner but the most common is often referred to as B-Mode and is a black and white 2-Dimensional cross sectional image. 3-Dimensional imaging is also useful in some areas. Other types of common imaging are blood flow studies making use of the Doppler principle where both the velocity and the amount of blood flowing can be measured. More recent advances in imaging technology allow for the assessment of tissue typing and for quantifying the stiffness of diseased tissue.

Compared to other prominent methods of medical imaging, ultrasound has several advantages. It provides images in real-time, it is portable and can be brought to the bedside, it is substantially lower in cost, and it does not use harmful ionizing radiation.