The digital transformation and 'dematerialization' of ultrasound
by Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | November 21, 2023
Healthcare Business News caught up with Claude Cohen-Bacrie, founder, president and CEO of E-Scopics to discuss the company’s advanced ultrasound system which aims to dematerialize and democratize the modality. He describes the value of this digital transformation of ultrasound from traditional ultrasound hardware systems to a software-based solutions, and the implications.
HCB News: Can you explain the concept of "dematerialization" as it applies to this ultrasound system?
Claude Cohen-Bacrie: Dematerialization, in the context of this ultrasound system, refers to the transformation of traditional ultrasound hardware, which typically involves specialized and dedicated components, into a software-based solution running on off the shelf computers, tablets or smartphones or, in some cases the cloud.
Dematerialization has already revolutionized other technologies such as the photo industry, where the processing running on smartphones today allows photo qualities to almost equal hardware professional cameras. This has driven the democratization of the technology and a real explosion of the number of photos produced. In dematerialized ultrasound, the intelligence and processing power required for ultrasound imaging are shifted from the hardware components to software running on consumer electronic devices. The only remaining Hardware component of the service is the probe, but unlike traditional ultra-portable ultrasound devices, this hardware serves primarily to send and receive ultrasound signals without extensive built-in processing or image reconstruction capabilities. The critical aspects of generating high-quality ultrasound images and quantifying tissue properties are managed by the software, making it a highly flexible and versatile solution.
HCB News: What motivated the company to pursue dematerialization in the development of its ultrasound system?
CCB: The motivation behind pursuing dematerialization for this ultrasound system was to overcome limitations associated with traditional hardware-based ultrasound systems, particularly those related to miniaturization. Miniaturization often involves trade-offs, such as reduced energy efficiency and processing power, due to the compact size of the hardware components. By transitioning to a software-based platform, the image reconstruction is softwarized and put out of the probe and performances can be kept on handheld ultrasound. The system can provide advanced features and high-quality imaging these limitations. The company has invented and conceptualized a path similar to the one taken by other industries, such as photography and music, which shifted from specialized hardware to software capabilities, could be applied to ultrasound to provide more accessible and feature-rich imaging solutions.
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