Image-compression technology tames flood of ultrasound data

By: 
July 06, 1998

Strip away the interference that ultrasound scanners ordinarily pick up from muscle and skin and you have a better chance of saving not only images of the body's inner workings, but also a great deal of space, time, and money. Engineers at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) have devised a way to store such slimmed-down ultrasound scans. The patented technique junks the unneeded echoes from soft tissue and saves data only from the underlying organ, all the while whittling the size of a digitized ultrasound file image to one-twentieth of what's now required. "While existing JPEG and MPEG technologies work from the assumption that an image has a photographic origin, our technology recreates an image based on the assumption that it's working with data gathered through a pulse-echo system," explains Kevin Parker, professor of electrical engineering at Rochester. "It's a method of reconstructing images that's in step with the way ultrasound scanners collect data," and about 20 times faster. Phone (716) 275-4151.

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