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Recent advances in ultrasound image systems include AI, automation, POCUS and development of therapeutic systems

February 18, 2021 — Imaging Technology News


Recent advances in ultrasound image systems seen over the past year include the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), automation of functions and measurements, introduction of very specialized tool sets, the rapid growth in point-of-care systems, improved ergonomics, and on the horizon, the development of therapeutic ultrasound systems for cardiovascular and cancer therapies. These trends are highlighted in the breakout sections below.

#5. Therapeutics Applications for Ultrasound on the Horizon

Images from a study of therapeutic ultrasound using bubble contrast agents to revascularize heart attack patients in transit to the hospital.Studies have been undertaken for several years that show ultrasound can help break up thrombus in blood vessels that cause a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) using an ultrasound transducer and micro bubble contrast agents. This has been the subject of several late-breaking study presentations at the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) in recent years. Ultrasound has also been shown to improve cancer drug delivery to targeted organs and the ability to allow drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier.

In January 2021, GE Healthcare and Exact Therapeutics announced a partnership to develop an ultrasound probe optimized for this type of therapy using Acoustic Cluster Therapy (ACT) across multiple disease conditions.

ACT is a proprietary formulation consisting of microbubbles and microdroplets that are activated through the application of ultrasound with the consequent increase in targeted delivery of a co-administered therapeutic agent. ACT is supported by a strong and broad preclinical package demonstrating therapeutic enhancement in multiple oncology models (pancreatic, breast, colon, prostate) as well as controlled blood-brain barrier opening. Currently ACT is being evaluated in the international ACTIVATE Phase I clinical trial in patients with metastatic colorectal and pancreatic cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

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