A plastic cap with a pattern of pinpricks. This seemingly simple adjustment means that high-quality 3D echography can be made much cheaper.
3D echo imaging is becoming increasingly important in hospitals and research. There is, however, a disadvantage: it requires expensive equipment. The researchers from Rotterdam and Delft have now come up with a cheap solution, enabling the images to be produced using only one sensor.
At the moment, the sensitivity is still low compared to the regular 3D systems. The researchers are convinced, however, that compressive sensing will in time lead to a drastic reduction in the price of 3D echography. “Of course, our method requires a powerful computer and that’s not cheap,” says Kruizinga, “but it’s nothing compared to the cost of an advanced 3D echo machine.” PhD researcher Pim van der Meulen (TU Delft): “We’re going to further improve our device but expect that, within a reasonable amount of time, high-quality 3D images can be made using smaller, portable and affordable echo machines. That’s a great step forward – also for doctors in developing countries.”