At the Bologna Hospital in Italy, a project currently is running to acquire 3D images from ultrasound scanning in real time. The PARSEMED initiative is coordinated by the French division of TTN or Technology Transfer Nodes to generate a literally new dimension in sonographic technology. The gynaecologists will be the first end-users of the innovative 3D system which enables physicians to immediately obtain a 3D reconstruction of the foetus for optimum diagnosis of the baby's condition.
Up till now, doctors were used to work with 2D visual material from ultrasound devices. The 2D images are grabbed with the sonograph in order to create a movie. Three-dimensional volume reconstruction is being performed afterwards by means of algorithms, which run on a workstation. The production of a 3D image takes a minimum of five minutes. Since the resulting 3D image in most cases will be insufficient for accurate diagnosis, the physician will have to start the process all over again.
This kind of procedure is hardly suitable for everyday medical practice. The PARSEMED project team therefore has developed a real time 3D system, that is based on parallel computing and algorithms. The use of high performance technology allows the medical expert to acquire a 3D reconstruction in few seconds after grabbing the images with the sonograph. In February 1999, the 3D real time scanning will be demonstrated at the Bologna Hospital to prove that the system is fit to replace 2D examination in clinical practice.
Not only the gynaecologists but also the specialists in cardiology, obstetrics, dermatology and radiology will benefit from the new PARSEMED procedure. In this regard, sonography as a non-invasive and patient-friendly technique, will probably become the premier modality in medical imaging. Please, take a look at the illustrated PARSEMED home page for more details on the project.