Longport International, the UK subsidiary of Longport (Glen Mills, Pennsylvania), is the lead participant in a $2 million project to develop a high resolution, phase-array ultrasound imaging system, partly supported by a grant from the UK's Department of Trade & Industry.

The system under development will be capable of imaging at center frequencies greater than 25 MHz as well as at lower frequencies, according to the company, and is expected to exceed the imaging resolution of all current commercial multi-element ultrasound systems.

The project involves the University of Manchester, Phoenix Inspection and Newbury Electronics. The system under development will combine very high performance with affordability through the use of novel transducer and system designs and the development of specialist integrated circuits.

Initial applications for this system are expected to be cancer imaging, including the mapping of skin cancers, wound assessment and prevention and superficial musculoskeletal imaging as well as specialist engineering inspections.

Lord Sainsbury, UK Science and Innovation Minister, said, "This initiative provides a real opportunity to harness the world class expertise that we possess in the UK and direct it towards the task of wealth creation. By providing a focus for collaboration and delivery, this partnership should establish British industry as the world leader in this area and be an attractive proposition for investors."

Paul Wilson, managing director of Longport International, termed the project "a logical evolution of Longport's established medical imaging technology. The development is expected to bring the benefits of faster imaging as well as a broader range of image enhancement and processing techniques, including Doppler imaging, to Longport's current customer groupings."

Viatronix reports 14 hospital installs

Viatronix (Stony Brook, New York) reported the installation of its V3-D Colon module for virtual colonoscopy at 14 hospitals throughout France and that it expects to install at other sites in the coming months.

All the hospitals are taking part in the STIC trial under the direction of Denis Heresbach, a gastroenterologist, and Yves Gandon, a radiologist, from Rennes, France. The clinical trial, to begin shortly, is expected to take 24 months to complete.

"All the sites have been equipped with the latest version of the robust and well-known Viatronix V3-D Colon platform that provides unique workflow optimized tools," said Zaffar Hayat, president of Viatronix. "Some of the hospitals in France that have already used the Viatronix V-3D-Colon software find it to be user friendly and its unique diagnostic tools to be of great help in patient diagnosis.

"The latest version provides optimized automatic post processing, enhanced electronic cleansing, interactive 2-D and 3-D windows, and proven diagnostic tools such as missed regions, supine and prone registration, automatic center line and translucent rendering that are available on the fly; allowing a radiologist to seamlessly read a case in under 10 minutes."

Zaffar Hayat, president of Viatronix, said, "radiologist training for the virtual colonoscopy exam is an important function as highlighted in some of the earlier publications and by many leaders in the industry. To this end Viatronix has worked with leading radiologists in France and elsewhere to develop a strong training program for radiologists," said.

Viatronix is a developer of 2-D/3-D medical imaging and diagnostic software, enabling physicians to interactively view vital organs and anatomical structures within the body from data acquired by standard medical imaging equipment in minimally or non-invasive methods.

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