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Breaking out of the Image Quality Dilemma

Mindray 2016-08-26

When clinicians work with a diagnostic ultrasound system, what matters the most to them?

Image quality.

This is what drives the medical industry to explore the most cutting-edge technologies and apply them to modern diagnostic ultrasound in order to provide clinicians with improved image quality.

The Unsolved Dilemma

Along with the exploration comes a big challenge that greatly affects the image quality of diagnostic ultrasound.

In modern ultrasound application, image quality is defined by three parameters, namely spatial resolution, tissue uniformity and temporal resolution. These tightly-linked trio often trade off with each other, resulting in a dilemma that compromises image quality.

To acquire a higher spatial resolution, the system has to increase transmission lines while decreasing temporal resolution.

For better tissue uniformity, conventional system commonly uses multi focuses transmission, which inevitably sacrifices temporal resolution.

Welcome to the Zone Age

How shall we address the challenge in improving image quality and ultimately enhance diagnostic confidence for clinicians? Mindray's ZONE Sonography technology plus (ZST+) platform is answer.

Mindray, as a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices worldwide, is continuously exploring ways to improve diagnostic confidence.

Based on strong R&D capability, Mindray has developed ZONE Sonography technology plus (ZST+) platform which evolves with powerful processing architecture and enhanced channel data processing for its premium products— Resona Series.

Four Core Pillars

With 4 core pillars being advanced acoustic acquisition, dynamic pixel focusing,sound speed compensation and total recall imaging, ZST+ possesses strong capabilities to improve image quality.

1. Advanced Acoustic Acquisition

By transmitting and receiving a relatively smaller number of large zones, it extracts more information from each acquisition, 10 times faster than conventional line-by-line beam forming methods.

Take the image below as an example. Conventional ultrasound imaging is much like the left picture, by using slow shutter speed, the final picture with a lot of motion artifact. While the right one is to use fast shutter speed, the final photo with minimal motion artifact and more realistic movement.

2. Dynamic Pixel Focusing

Dynamic pixel focusing (DPF) uses channel data in different acquisition zone and time slot to achieve the most precise pixel focusing by phase alignment and coherent synthesis for ultrasound image.

For the conventional method, the system will use multiple focusing transmission to realize tissue uniformity, but sacrificing frame rate extremely. Be it no focus, one focus or dual focus, the information is always insufficient for the whole field.

While by using DPF, the image formation only need one zone by each transmission to acquire a much better image uniformity from near field to far field and almost all the detail information can be acquired.

3. Sound speed compensation

Sound speed compensation retrospectively processes channel data with various sound speed and acquires the optimal tissue-specific image adaptively.

Conventional system assumes one specific sound speed at 1540m/s, but in fact different tissue has different speed propagation. ZST+ has now corrected image formation method with adaptive sound speed and provides clinicians with a more accurate solution.

When making comparison on phantom by different sound speed, the assumed sound speed at 1540m/s forms a worse lateral resolution on the left one, while by SSC optimization at 1480m/s providing a better lateral resolution.

4. Total Recall Imaging

Total recall imaging allows the system to do retrospective processing on channel data and allows users to modify numerous imaging parameters on stored images to optimize clinical information.

The channel data makes retrospective processing possible for the system and gives it the potential of off-boarding capabilities for extended research in the future.

The stored images optimize parameters for post scanning and save clinicians the trouble of repeat scanning.

Over the years, Mindray has been dedicating to making healthcare technologies better and more accessible to people around the world. This time, Mindray has again, met its R&D commitment to the market needs and improved image quality by introducing ZST+ platform and premium series Resona.

Combining top-tier ultrasound imaging technology with the matched engineering, manufacturing and R&D capability, the Resona series will benefit more people and set a significant footstep to the industry development.