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Sonora Medical Systems Introduces THE NICKEL

by Robert Garment, Executive Editor | March 07, 2006
About the size of fountain
pen, the NICKEL is a
revolutionary new ultrasound
transducer testing device

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Sonora Medical Systems


Sonora Medical Systems
recently announced the introduction of a revolutionary new diagnostic ultrasound transducer testing device known as The Nickel. This point-of-use, hand-held device allows physicians, sonographers and biomedical engineers to test the operation of both the ultrasound probe as well as the ultrasound system immediately prior to performing an ultrasound examination on a patient.

Published studies have shown that as many as 25% of all ultrasound probes currently being used in clinical practice have a defect that may compromise the clinical efficacy or safety of the ultrasound examination. The Nickel is designed to detect any flaws within the ultrasound probe and provide assurance to the physician that they will obtain an optimal ultrasound study.

The Nickel is designed to test diagnostic ultrasound probes and certain electronic "blocks" within the ultrasound system. The device senses acoustic pulses that are transmitted from a functional element within the array of the probe. When a sufficient threshold signal is received from an element the LED indicator on the device will toggle from steady state red to a slow to steady state pulsating green indicating a functional element. The device will then transmit a signal back to that element which is then processed by the ultrasound system and displayed on the system's monitor as a bright signal along the appropriate vector lines that make up the transducer display format. This indicates that the receive, processing and display electronics within the ultrasounds.

Specifications:
* Test All Brands of Electronic Array Transducers
* Transmit and Receive Transducer: PVDF with a 1-20MHz Bandwidth
* Transmit and Receive Board within Unit
* Tests: B-mode, Pulsed Doppler, M-Mode
* LED Indicator: Red/Green
* Battery Operated: Two (2) AAA batteries
* Operational Battery Life: Over 10 hours of continuous use
* Rugged Housing
* Self-Test Indicator
* Operators Instructions Provided in Accompanying USB Mass Storage Device
* 12-Month Warranty
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The Nickel also inputs a test signal into the probe that is passed to the ultrasound system for display on the system's monitor. This test signal confirms to the physician that the system electronics within the ultrasound machine are also functional.

"The technological advances in the design and materials used in diagnostic ultrasound systems and probes have increased dramatically over the last 10 years with few corresponding advances in reliable, easy-to-use, quality assurance devices such as The Nickel," says G. Wayne Moore, President and CEO of Sonora, "Our Test Instruments Division is focused on creating new ultrasound quality assurance technologies that close that gap and making sure patients receive the high-quality ultrasound examination they deserve."

Roughly the size of a high-quality fountain pen, The Nickel has been well received by ultrasound professionals and is said to look like something "...James Bond would use." Moore has recently been invited to present a lecture on ultrasound test devices at the upcoming Institute of Physics & Engineering in Medicine meeting being held in York, England, where The Nickel will be introduced to the international market.

For additional information concerning Sonora's products and services, visit www.4sonora.com