BabyFace – 3D

Article Conference CoverageFrom AIUM 44th Conference held in San Francisco, California - April, 2000

click here for audio/video version  *requires RealPlayer - free download

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "Hi again, it’s Ed Zabrek, Technology Correspondent for and we are here with Biomedicom, the creators of a add-on 3-D system for an existing ultrasound system. If you already have a system in your office then Biomedicom can come out and install it. I’m here talking with Shy and he’s going to tell us a little bit more about it."

Shy: "No problem, first of all the product, a 3-D system is an add-on and it can fit to any ultrasound machine that’s available on the market. The doctor continues to using his own 2-D probe, he doesn’t have to change to a 3-D probe, so basically, if he gets used to working with that he will continue to use it."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "Now take a look at this probe, this probe here has two cables going into it and a blue button on it. This is not the probe that came with this HDI system I take it?"

Shy: "Absolutely, one cable, it’s the regular cable going into the ultrasound into the zip collector. The other one is the system cable going into the computer."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "I see down here there’s an add-on box. This add-on box, that’s a computer in itself?"

Shy: "That’s the whole product."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "That’s all, and can you tell me the processing power of that computer? What is in it?"

Shy: "This is a computer box and supporting electronics."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "Okay, and so everything that you get here is included with the BabyFace product that you add-on to your existing ultrasound unit?"

Shy: "Yes, absolutely. What it does when the doctor is switching this button there is two things happening simultaneously. First the 2-D probe to the frame are read into the computer by the video-grabber. Second, the position of sensors sending data to the computer regarding the elective orientation of each to be framed to another, when you give an order to the software it synchronizes the two sets of data and builds up fast and powerful 3-D reconstruction."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "But one thing I noticed, at least with this probe, is I’ve seen being on the floor of AIUM, there are a lot of other 3-D machines out there. This is actually very comfortable to handle. It doesn’t seem to really be bulky by comparison with some of the other ones I’ve seen out there."

Shy: "Absolutely, because when we did the previous research, all the physicians said that they didn’t used to use a big probe, throughout their career they were trained on a 2-D so we maintained this technique for them."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "Wonderful, now currently this probe is available for which machines as of today?"

Shy: "As of now all the ATL’s, UM-4, UM-9, HDI, and we also have the probe of the Acuson. Soon all the ultrasound will available."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "What time frame would you think all the ultrasounds would be coming on?"

Shy: "They’ll be by the end of the year."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "So by the end of year, for what cost can they buy this out on 3-D?"

Shy: "The whole system is contained, the computer box, the probe, the trackball, and another screen will be around $30,000."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "So for about $30,000 on an old UM-4 you can basically make this a state of the art machine. I think I might do that with mine, I’ve got an old UM-4."

Shy: "We’ll be glad to."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "All right, now can you give me a little bit of demo and show me what it does and how?"

Shy: "Basically, what the physician or the sonographer will do is they’ll scan in the usual manner, when they reach the region of interest that they would like to scan for 3-D, they simply click on the left button on the trackball. And when the system is ready after two seconds, they move their hand with the same motion, and that’s it. It’s all done. From this second, the software synchronizes the data while the sonographer can continue to exam on the other screen. You have here a 3-D image."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "Can you show how the 3-D image actually can work in 3-D?"

Shy: "First of all, it’s important to say that if the physician or the sonographer doesn’t want to use the other screen, he can continue to work on the original monitor. So we have some visualization tools that’s very helpful that the sonographer can roll the image and we’ll tape it. He can zoom it."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "Very good, very impressive, now I see you also have sculpting as an option."

Shy: "Yes, the sculpting I would like to demonstrate on a real tissue and a real fetus that we have brought from a better site so one of the most powerful features of our system that make it so advanced is the segmentation. If you move to the screen, I think you can see that on the right side there is a window of a 3-D image. It’s obscured by some other tissue. On the left it’s the 2-D window that the physician or the sonographer can view on the 2-D frame, which we’ll grab from the ultrasound. To remove the obscuring object, the physician simply draws a line which doesn’t have to be accurate, it’s a rough line around the region of interest. Then simply he segments the 2-D image, and if you look on the right side on the 3-D, you can see that it’s starting to be clear and clean. We move it backwards and we complete in few seconds the whole set and all the obscuring objects will completely disappear. Then when it’s finished, the physician can rotate and play with the image and he will be able to have a better diagnosis. If you want to remove the other object, we simply play with the 2-D. We added the contour and if you look here, in few seconds it will disappear. This powerful feature allows the physician and the sonographer to clear all the obscuring objects for accuracy for better and accurate diagnosis."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "I earlier interviewed a company called Terason which is a PC based computer company. There seems to be a logical match to have a computer system that just uses a computer and a probe and your system here. Are there possibly any talks that you guys might do something together?"

Shy: "I believe that if there is an interest, the two management’s will sit together and move forward on the project."

Dr. Ed Zabrek: "That sounds great. There’s a lot of exciting things happening at AIUM, I would say that this and Terason are probably the two most exciting things I’ve seen. Certainly don’t throw away your UM-4, if you have one, I think you might find a good use for it. I’m going to conclude now, and I’m off on my airplane to go back to Houston so we’ll be in touch on the web."

You can visit the Biomedicom website by clicking the name.


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