Ultrasound machines are used for taking images by using sound waves that are transmitted to a computer screen as pictures or images. These machines were created in 1955 and were used for research purposes.
The technology used for ultrasound machines has enabled doctors to diagnose a patient’s underlying health issues in a high tech and pain free manner.
Ultrasound machines have also provided the medical world with a safe way of monitoring an unborn fetus’s health condition without worry that the fetus or mother will suffer any stress from the procedure. Ultrasounds are commonly performed on pregnant women in order to ensure the fetus is progressing at a normal weight and also, to determine the sex of the fetus.
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The technology of the ultrasound machine can also help physicians to determine how strongly the heart is pumping and whether or not the heart valves are functioning properly. Read further to find out more about the benefits of the ultrasound machine and how they operate.
How An Ultrasound Machine Operates
The ultrasound machine uses high frequency sound waves and their echoes. The technique used is similar to the echolocation used by dolphins, whales and bats. The technique is also very similar to sonar signals.
The ultrasound machine’s sound waves travel into your body and hit a boundary between tissues. Some of the ultrasound machines sound waves get bounced back to the probe, other sound waves can travel further until they have reached another boundary and are reflected back. These sound waves are then picked up by the probe and relayed to the machine.
The ultrasound machine will then calculate the distance from the probe to the tissue using the speed of sound in tissue. This enables the machine to display the distances of the echoes on the screen which forms a two dimensional image, as seen in ultrasounds of unborn fetuses.
The Ultrasound machine is composed of the following parts:
- Transducer probe
- Central processing unit
- Transducer pulse controls
- Disk storage device
The main part of the ultrasound machine is called the transducer probe. The probe makes the sound waves and receives the echoes. Transducer probes come in several different sizes, as the shape of the probe determines its field of view and the frequency of emitted sound waves will determine how deep the waves penetrate.
Knowing How These Machines are Maintained
The central processing unit is the brain of the ultrasound. The central processing unit, or CPU for short, is a computer that contains the micro-processor memory, amplifiers and power supplies for the micro-processor and probe. This device sends electrical currents to the transducer, emitting sound waves and also receiving the electrical pulses from the transducers that were created from the returning echoes. The central processing unit also preforms all of the calculations involved in data processing. Once the data has been processed the CPU is able to form a two dimensional image on the machines monitor. The probe pulse controls allow the user to set or change the frequency of the ultrasound pulses.
It is important that the ultrasound technician follow the proper protocol when caring and maintaining an ultrasound machine. Transducers will need to be sterilized after each patients use; cables need to be carefully monitored in order to get the most accurate of readings.
The ultrasound machine technology has helped physicians to effectively and accurately diagnose patients, while allowing the patients to be examined with relative ease. Today, the ultrasound machine is commonly used for several different types of procedures and has also been created as a portable units which are much more inexpensive than the larger models, making this technology more affordable for small private practices and other smaller medical facilities.