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This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

ATL ULTRAMARK 9 WITH HDI: EXTENDED SIGNAL PROCESSING UPGRADE deliveries will begin in June, Advanced Technology Laboratories, Inc. says in an April 19 release. The ESP upgrade to the Ultramark 9 with High Definition Imaging uses real-time parallel processing and system software to reduce "speckle noise," an artifact caused by "the random, artificial pattern of overlapping ultrasound echoes," according to ATL. The ESP option is being offered as part of a "level four" upgrade that also includes the C7-4 broadband curved array scanhead, the fifth addition to ATL's broadband scanhead line. The C7-4 provides "superior image quality" in obstetrical, superficial abdominal, and pediatric ultrasound examinations, ATL claims. The firm explains that the ESP parallel processing module and system software work together to "optimize the entire image formation path and extract further tissue information from the HDI broadband digital beamformer, without the compromises to image resolution required by conventional methodologies." The technology "more than doubles signal processing," and the resulting reduction of speckle noise "expands the potential of ultrasound to address diagnostic applications that were previously the domain of exploratory surgery and other more expensive or invasive imaging modalities," according to the firm. Benefits claimed for ESP include "enhanced visualization of subtle masses and tumors, clearer depiction of tissue changes associated with disease processes, more well-defined interfaces and tissue boundaries, greater confidence in the assessment of lesions and enhanced color Doppler for improved visualization of flow." The technology also provides "greater clarity of vessels and fluid-filled structures" and "improved characterization of arterial and venous disease states," ATL says. In addition, the "resolution of extremely fine detail" offered by the technology helps with imaging of small anatomical structures and early visualization of fetal development processes, according to the firm.

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