William D. Richard, Ph.D.WUSTL associate professor of computer science and engineering, and David Zar, research associate in computer science and engineering, develop pioneering low cost ultrasound imaging systems.
Their latest achievement marks a new milestone in bringing important technology to the commodity shelf.
“75% of the world population have no access to medical imaging or trained medical professionals. Eliminating the bulky, cabinet sized, power hungry ultrasound imaging devices greatly improves the availability of this much needed medical imaging technology, improving patients’ quality of life” said William Richard, he continued: “Since 90% of the world’s population lives within the range of a cell tower, providing a low cost, portable, imaging system, that doesn’t require a regular power supply, answers a great need”
The software provided with the system lets local caregivers evaluate the images. Alternatively, they can be sent for a specialist’s examination, remotely. The application allows full control and manipulation of the ultrasound image.
WUSTL’s ultrasound system and SDK provides a valuable tool for diagnosing numerous diseases and medical conditions, especially in remote or impoverished locations when a full sized ultrasound device is unavailable.
Furthermore, their open SDK allows third-party ultrasound developers to tailor the technology to specific tasks.
WUSTL solution comprises hardware and software: Probe (modified for low power consumption)Application (modified to run on small/touch screen on a commercial WinCE-based Smartphone). This application, written in C# and C++, was programmed with the Jungo WinDriver-based driver and its unique data streaming APIs. The streaming API allows sending continuous streams of data from the ultrasound device, despite the modest capabilities and performance of the mobile phone platform.
“I was already using Jungo’s WinDriver USB for XP/Vista 32/64 bit support so it was natural to try the Windows CE support, also. This saved us enormous effort as we didn’t have to do very much development to get the low-level functionality of our application working. Furthermore, the Jungo support team provided excellent support” said David Zar, he continued: “Having converted to the Jungo driver, I can support 32/64 bit Vista as well as Windows CE devices with a single codebase”.