Linear Robot as The Approach towards Individual Abdominal Ultrasound Scanning in Developing Countries?

Christina Pahl


In order to improve comfort in abdominal ultrasound scanning, reduce operator dependency and increase image resolution, a novel method for automatic ultrasound cervix scanning, especially for developing countries, has been developed. To determine the reference scanning point for customized diagnosis procedures, personalized scanning algorithms based on umbilicus detection are utilized. The setup consists of three linear motors controlled by an ATmega328 microcontroller and is based on real-time data of an IR sensor as feedback information. For testing purposes 10 subjects were scanned using a robotic platform. Robotically acquired data were compared with manually taken ultrasound images. Safety and image quality have been evaluated and approaches developed to counteract mentioned deficits. A correlation analysis as well as image quality classification between histograms and probe pressure image data was performed. Results show an automated method for personalized ultrasonography with a maximum accuracy of the defined scanning reference being 98.4 % for one dimension. It can be concluded that simple image processing techniques like 3D reconstruction and merging in combination with robotically guided ultrasound probe motion are highly efficient to counteract existing ultrasonography deficits. Future works consider the application of automated ultrasonography on related medical fields.

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