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The Aviso A/B: Clarity With Digital Imaging
LESLIE GOLDBERG, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Quantel's Aviso A/B ultrasound system delivers high-frequency anterior and posterior segment imaging. The modular platform allows users to switch from a 10 MHz B-scan ultrasound to a complete package that includes high-frequency 20 MHz probes, 25 and 50 MHz (UBM) linear probes, as well as biometry and the soon-to-be released standardized or diagnostic A-scan.
“Ultrasound equipment previously used analog technology and users loved it because the imaging was so good,” says Thomas Prager, PhD, MPH, clinical professor at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. “With the switch to digital, there was a loss in clarity and the examiner could miss some subtle distinctions because you cannot readily distinguish various layers such as the retina/choroid and sclera — with the Aviso's new P20 probe, you can.”
Dr. Prager says that clear digital imaging is very important because, with the increased use of EMR, there is a greater need to move data digitally. He strongly recommends that if you are going to purchase an ultrasound machine, the decision should be based on the image quality.
Graham W. Belovay, MD, and Iqbal (Ike) K. Ahmed, MD, of the University of Toronto, say that the Aviso's software interface is easy to use, including adding patients, switching between scan types, performing and viewing scans, and labeling scans. “The editing features available in the software are a real strength,” they report. “Both video and still images can be saved, edited and analyzed at any time. The number of scans per session is seemingly unlimited.”
Drs. Belovay and Ahmed have found that the quality of the images obtained by the Aviso allows users to zoom in without a noticeable loss in image quality. Since they are an EMR-based practice, the Aviso's ability to create customized reports makes uploading to their database simple and quick.
They say that the hardware setup of the Aviso is one of its strengths and they are pleased to find that the system is compact and portable. “The A-scan, B-scan and UBM are connected to separate inputs, so when switching devices one does not have to unplug the devices and reconfigure the software. The touch screen external panel makes access to most of the scanning features convenient and quick,” say Drs. Belovay and Ahmed. However, they add, labeling of each captured image can only be done on the attached computer.
The high-frequency probes enable physicians to perform both anterior and posterior segment imaging with advanced measurement tools.
Drs. Belovay and Ahmed are currently using two probes in their setup, the B-scan 10 Mhz probe and the LIN 50 Mhz UBM probe. They say the B-scan is compact, light and easy to use and produces high-quality images. “The UBM probe is designed such that its movement is limited to one plane. For scanning, our UBM probe is covered with the ClearScan probe cover [developed by Dr. Prager]. The images that are produced appear to be more easily obtained with less of a learning curve for new technicians.
“Specifically, it is easier to ensure the probe is correctly oriented to obtain an optimal scan. The probe is well balanced and easy to manipulate with one hand,” report Drs. Belovay and Ahmed.
BENEFITS FOR RETINAL PHYSICIANS
Dr. Prager says the Aviso is an important piece of equipment for retinal physicians because “with high frequency, the machine is visualizing the front of the eye, it can answers questions like whether there is an anterior effusion, a melanoma in the ciliary body or identify a subtle schisis or retinal tear. Also, with standardized A-scan, users can perform diagnostic exams to differentiate, for example, various types of tumors.”
Drs. Belovay, Ahmed and Prager agree that the Aviso is a good all-in-one unit that can perform multiple functions to meet the varying demands of a practice. RP
For more information on the Aviso, visit Quantel Medical's Web site at www.quantel-medical.com.