See the heart beat in real time from outside

See the heart beat in real time from outside

Summary: The Acuson SC2000 ultrasound lets a doctor watch your heart beat, in real-time, from outside your chest.

TOPICS: Telcos

Siemens heart ultrasoundHere's a cool little tech story to get you going over Labor Day.

Siemens says its new Acuson SC2000  ultrasound can "acquire non-stitched real-time full-volume 3D images of the heart in one single heart cycle."

In English, it lets a doctor watch your heart beat, in real-time, from outside your chest.

The final image is both a visual record and a computer file that can be manipulated, examined from every angle, perhaps seeing a bulging artery ready to pop.

I had an electrocardiagram done a few years ago, and that equipment is primitive by comparison. Electrodes were glued to my chest and arms. The result was a printed record of several heartbeats, examined for abnormal patterns.

This unit has the same intent, but it's a completely different kettle of fish. It's the difference between reading an old ticker tape and running a modern trading terminal.

Want to hear something neater? The new unit includes an expert system and clinical database, allowing it to recognize patterns in your data, and perform new measurements automatically.

Siemens Medical says this makes the employee more efficient. It also makes their results more accurate. The machine can catch things the person may not.

Almost makes me wish I could have a heart attack right now. But I think I'll wait...

Topic: Telcos

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  • Ultrasound has gone a long way

    Back in '71, when my wife was about 6
    months along carrying our first born the
    hospital where she worked got the first
    ultrasound in the state. The Dr. (a friend
    of my wife's) came running down to get
    her so they could take images with their
    new toy.

    Comparing that very rough scan (barely
    able to make out the outlines of the head
    & body) with today demonstrates a very
    dramatic improvement in all medical
    imaging during my adulthood.

    Bur the EKG is still king when it comes to
    the heart in many situations. We have the
    computer power now to not only monitor
    heart patients 24 hours a day in the
    hospital, but to have expert programs
    provide the doctors with analytical
    information and there is the technology
    available today to discover patterns in a
    patient's EKG to identify that patient
    moving to an acute medical problem.

    Before too long we should be able to give
    the patient a sensor about the size of a
    mouse that is held to the chest and
    transmits data to a PC (or Mac). The
    software in the patient's computer can
    then send daily summaries to the doctor
    monitoring the patient. It can also identify
    problems that tell the patient to send the
    data to the doctor's 24 hour monitoring
    system, have someone drive the patient to
    the doctor or hospital, or tell the patient
    to call for an ambulance NOW. It would
    also allow for a patient to call the doctor
    or ER and have them be able to look at an
    EKG in real time.

    Ultrasounds aren't nearly there in terms of
    the potential for high level technology in
    the hands of the patient.

    I've had ultrasounds, various x-rays, CT &
    PET/CT scans. These days I get a copy of
    the images and keep them in my MacBook
    so I can show any doctor both the scan
    report and the actual scan.

    For this old guy the technology available
    today and the technology that could be
    available to the average patient is pretty