Toshiba to present PowerVision 8000 ultrasound system for cardiac applications

Atlanta 07 November 1999At the recent annual meeting of the American Heart Association, Toshiba America Medical Systems has presented the all-digital PowerVision 8000, a completely configured 512-channel ultrasound system for cardiology imaging applications. Toshiba designed this premium system to meet the strong performance demands of the United States health care market with advanced applications which expand system utility, increase efficiency and enhance patient care.


Fully configured with an expanded range of clinical applications and calculation packages, the PowerVision 8000 is optimised for hospitals which need a system to serve multiple departments. Instead of hardware overhauls or software upgrades, providers simply invest in a new transducer to extend the utility of the system. "Plug-and-play" transducer technology means that Toshiba systems have a lower life cycle cost and offer expandability.

The PowerVision family of systems provides a variety of clinical applications to cardiologists without compromise. As ultrasound technology continues to advance with techniques like contrast imaging, the modality might become even more cost-effective, according to Steve Sickels, the senior director of the Ultrasound Business Unit at Toshiba America Medical Systems, who proudly adds that technology like the PowerVision 8000 constitutes the very reason why Toshiba could hold the number one position in global ultrasound sales and installations for ten consecutive years.

The PowerVision 8000 is the first system to feature Toshiba's "works-in-progress" PowerView package, a fully integrated, digital information management system which advances diagnostic capabilities throughout the hospital. PowerView supports all of the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) service classes, all integrated 3-dimensional and Stress Echo applications software, live digital video streaming for telemedicine and an advanced quantitative analysis package.

With the most complete DICOM solution available in the marketplace today, PowerView will enable Toshiba's ultrasound systems to seamlessly integrate with both Picture Archival Computer Systems (PACS) and hospital/radiology information system (HIS/RIS) networks, as Steve Sickels states. PowerView indeed prepares clinicians for a future where images are shared effortlessly across networks, and applications are expanded to increase the efficacy of ultrasound examinations. Clinicians using PowerView are able to send still frame and dynamic images to review stations or printers, access modality worklist interfaces to the HIS/RIS system and retrieve previous exams from an archive.

In addition, with contrast agents for cardiology and vascular studies now commercially available, researchers are using Toshiba's Flash Echo Imaging technology and colour harmonics package to evaluate disease states which have been previously difficult or impossible to image. The technology shows promise for quantifying blood flow and perfusion in a non-invasive fashion, which could subsequently reduce health care costs and improve patient care. This is made possible through the system's ability to capture higher frequencies generated by agent micro-bubbles, that are known as harmonic frequencies. Flash Echo technology also improves contrast imaging through greater bubble enhancement and retention.

Toshiba's Flash Echo is equally the basis for digital subtraction ultrasound, a technique under development in which the first image of a series, which contains the brightest reflection of tissue and blood flow contrast, can be compared with the last, which contains a minimal level of contrast and the greatest reflection of tissue. During the post-processing phase, both images are overlaid, essentially subtracting the last image from the first to create a new image that shows sharp blood flow contrast without interference from tissue reflection. Though still in the research phase, this digital subtraction ultrasound holds great promise for a low-cost, less traumatic alternative to angiography, cardiac catheterisation and other invasive imaging procedures.

Furthermore, the PowerVision 8000 features advanced clinical applications to perform a variety of quantitative assessments essential for many cardiac studies by offering precise measurements of blood flow or contrast agent effects. Automatic Cardiac Output enables the measurement of cardiac output and stroke volume based on colour Doppler principles which obtains high-sensitivity colour information for increased accuracy and diagnostic confidence.

The company offers a full array of transducers for the PowerVision 8000, each designed with Toshiba's patented chip-in-the-tip technology. This technology employs an integrated circuit in the transducer to capture more of the ultrasound signal and produce superior image quality. Currently, 12 transducers are available for the PowerVision. Additionally, the PowerVision 8000 features a wider dynamic range (175 dB) for high-quality contrast images with good resolution, a key component for successfully scanning difficult to image patients. The system also has Quad Signal Processing for enhanced frame rate and colour imaging which provides better capabilities for examining technically difficult patients and fast-moving structures.

True Triplex Imaging enables the acquisition of more diagnostic data without performance compromise by providing simultaneous, real time grey scale, colour and Doppler imaging of up to 20 frames per second with the ability to capture precise vascular hemo-dynamics without freezing the B-mode image. The PowerVision 8000 is cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and aimed at high-end clinical settings including universities, large hospitals and research facilities.

With headquarters in Tustin, California, Toshiba America Medical Systems is a subsidiary of Toshiba America Inc. that employs 10.000 people throughout the United States. TAMS markets, sells, distributes and services diagnostic imaging (DI) systems and co-ordinates clinical DI research. The company's imaging products include Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and conventional and vascular X-ray systems.

Toshiba America MRI Inc., in South San Francisco, has responsibility over research and development, and engineering and manufacturing of diagnostic imaging equipment in the United States. Toshiba America Medical Systems' parent company is Toshiba Corp., a major provider of electronics and energy systems and products, a $43 billion organisation with more than 198.000 employees all over the world.

Leslie Versweyveld

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