Sound waves can diagnose and treat patients every day. Artificial intelligence is being tested for aid in interpreting ultrasound images. In addition to medical diagnostics, ultrasound can be used for many other important purposes, such as checking welds in steel tubing, and materials testing in the oil and gas industry. One can measure the movement of the heart and blood circulation speeds around it. Ultrasound is a completely safe method of looking at what’s happening inside the body.
One of the advantages of ultrasound technology is that the devices can be made small and portable. This miniaturization means that ultrasound imagers are available everywhere and can be used outside of hospitals. X-ray doctors have used it for years, as have gynecologists and midwifes. Neurology uses ultrasound to image veins and arteries in the neck and brain, and rheumatologists have started using it to look at muscles and joints. Digestion specialists have also been looking into ultrasound uses in their field.
Ultrasound is an important guide for taking biopsies and draining fluids in the pericardium, pleural sac and stomach cavity. With an ultrasound imager, the doctor is able to see their needle and make sure that it goes into the right place. It’s a good tool to have.
Artificial intelligence and ultrasound
Experiments to use artificial intelligence for interpreting sound waves can diagnose are now underway at NTNU.