Connecticut Patent of the Month – February 2021
Ultrasound devices are used to perform diagnostic imaging using sound waves with high frequencies that are inaudible to humans. The sound waves bounce off of tissue, recorded by a device, and presented as an image on a monitor. The image considers the strength of the sound signal and how long it takes to reflect back in order to accurately portray the tissue. Changing certain parameters can let you create images of different focuses, like cross-sections of tissue, blood flow, the presence of specific molecules, the stiffness of tissue, or the anatomy of a three-dimensional region. These devices have recently been redesigned to make them more affordable and accessible. However, the increased accessibility has not increased people’s capability. Butterfly Network, Inc. has been working on an ultrasound imaging device that can use motion data to direct the collection of ultrasound data using augmented reality. This device will help to guide users to make sure they get the appropriate imaging information.
The design includes the use of a processing device which communicates with the ultrasound imaging device. The processing device delivers instructions for moving the ultrasound device to the required position (location and orientation). In order to guide the user, the device will use augmented reality to display the next move. For instance, if the user has the device positioned incorrectly, the image will show an arrow pointing where the device needs to be moved to. This will allow inexperienced users to take acceptable ultrasound images. For instance, some people with heart conditions have begun to monitor their own heart after brief training. This saves time for the user and reduces strain on the healthcare systems. If the user is able to take better images, they have a better chance of noticing any abnormalities.
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