ULTRASOUND HISTORY AND EVOLUTION 5
UltrasoundHistory and Evolution
UltrasoundHistory and Evolution
In1974, Lazzaro Spallanzani observed that bats could efficientlyutilize resources in their environment despite being nocturnal andtheir lack of sight. Theobservation influenced his efforts in the study of echolocation amongbats, and those of other scientists in the development of the modernultrasound technologies in medical, manufacturing, marine, andsecurity industries (Campbell,2013).In clinical settings, the ultrasound technology has many usesincluding urology, obstetrics, cardiology, and cancer diagnosis(Monsky,2013). Thereason for such uses is that ultrasound comes with wide range ofbenefits that makes it preferred to X-Ray and Magnetic ResonanceImaging (MRI) technologies (Campbell,2013).However,O`Brienand Dunn (2015) establish that thistechnology is expensive and beyond the reach of many institutions.Nonetheless,ultrasound technology and its application continueto expand thereby becoming the most reliable technology in diagnosis,and treatment of diseases.
Accordingto Watson(2015),Spallanzani’s 1794 discovery on the echolocation formed the basisof ultrasound. In essence, it focused on the expansion of the ideathat objects emit sounds that are beyond the human’s hearingability. Animals such as bats can hear these sounds and respondaccordingly. Later, another study by Pierre Currie and Jacques Curriein 1877 led to a finding that certain material including human bodygenerates and emit electrical charges when subjected to pressure, aconcept acknowledged as Piezoelectric (Watson,2015).It isthisconcept that formed the basis forwhich these brothers invented the ultrasound probes.
However,it is an Australian doctor Karl Theodore Dussik who is recognized asthe first person to apply ultrasound in medical settings in 1942. Apractice medical researchers and practitioners refer to as sonography(Monsky,2013).The sonography technologies enable observation of body’s internalorgans and structures such as tendons, blood vessels, joints,and muscles, thereby enabling their diagnosis and treatment (Rice,Ha, Tran, Quang Xuan, & Mowafi, 2015). In his test, Dussiktransmitted beams of ultrasound through a skull to detect brain tumor(Riceetal.,2015). This invention was a breakthrough and formed a basis of theA-Mode Ultrasoundequipment developed by George D. Ludwig in 1948 (Watson,2015).In design and functions, this instrument could detect gallstones inthe body.
Anadvanced detection equipment was developed two years later as B-Modeultrasound system that included a two-dimensionalimage processing unit named 2D B-Mode linear compound scanner. Unlikethe A-Mode equipment, the B-mode ultrasound system could captureimages in different forms, from several varying angles to ahigh-producea qualityoutput (Campbell,2013).An improved version of this B-Modeequipment wasdevelopedin the same year by John Reid and John Wild. In this version, it wasin small and compact design that made it useful in the detectionof breast tumors.
Reidand Wild improvised this handheldB-mode devicelater in 1966 together with Don Baker and Denis Watkins into aDoppler Ultrasound technology that could scan through various layersof heart to detect blood flow (Watson,2015).Such development could help diagnosis heart diseases such asinflammation and clots. However, before then, Dr. Ian MacDonald hasintegrated ultrasound in the Obstetrics and Gynecologyfield in 1958 while both Hellmuth Hertz and Inge Edlehad successfully applied ultrasound in echocardiogram using an echotest device.
Themodern ultrasound technologies bear features and capabilities thatwere development since 1970. These include three Doppler generationsthat are the continuous wave, spectral wave, and cloud wavegenerations developed in 1970 (O`Brien& Dunn, 2015).Another feature was the 3D technology developed in 1980 by KazunoriBaba in Japan. According to O`Brienand Dunn (2015),this 3D image processing helps not only detection of real-timeconditions in the diagnosisof diseases but capturing the image of the fetus.After 3D ultrasounds hadbeen fully developed,the next significant improvement was the incorporation of thesonography in the treatment of the patients with chronic disease andthose admitted in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) (Campbell,2013).In generalcases,these improvements have eased the detection and mapping ofpregnancies in the provisionof health care.
Inconclusion, ultrasound has emerged as one of the widely usedtechnologiesin many industries. In medicine, the technology has evolved greatly,enabling the physicians to address different diseases. Also, thetechnologies, methods,and tools have also become sophisticated and improved, with currentsystems having the abilityto process 3D and 4D images. Consequently, a widerange of diseases and conditions such as pregnancy can bemonitoredand appropriate care administered. The future of ultrasoundtechnology comprises of expanded application in disease diagnosis,cheap services, and unlimited new research or medical opportunities.
Campbell,S. (2013). AShort History of Sonography in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.PubMedCentral (PMC).Retrieved 15 January 2017, fromhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3987368/
MonskyL. W (2013). The Evolution of Ultrasound Technologies from Anatomicto Physiologic, Histologic, and Molecular Imaging. Anatomy& Physiology, 4, 3.)
O`BrienJr., W. D., & Dunn, F. (2015). An early history of high-intensityfocused ultrasound. PhysicsToday,68(10), 40-45.
Rice,B. T., Ha, V., Tran, L. D., Quang Xuan, V., & Mowafi, H. (2015).Survey of the pointof care ultrasound usage in emergency medicine by Vietnamesephysicians. EmergencyMedicine Australasia,27(6), 580-583. doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12476
Watson,A. (2015). TheHistoryof Ultrasound | BMUS.Bmus.org.Retrieved 14 January 2017, fromhttps://www.bmus.org/about-ultrasound/history-of-ultrasound/