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Imaging the heart isn’t the easiest thing to do. The reason for this is that it’s constantly moving. The heart muscle contracts and relaxes rhythmically to supply blood to all parts of the body. Often, the quality of heart images is not up to par for making an accurate diagnosis. This is precisely why GE, a leader in medical technologies, developed the cSound software. It creates a highly detailed real-time visual of the inner workings of the heart and how it’s functioning. The one-of-a-kind software has been installed in Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The way cSound works is in itself unique. The closest comparison is how supercomputers are able to handle so much data. It takes an unimaginable amount of raw data and processes it on-the-fly to generate a stunning 4D animation of the heart. Software like cSound will make way for extremely accurate diagnoses especially when it comes to visualizing problems with heart valves. Doctors will be able to see blood leakage and faulty artificial valves that can’t be seen with fully in such a cost-effective package.

You may have a preconceived notion that 4D is no better than 3D, but in fact it has so much more to offer. 3D images are generated from a series of 2D images, but 4D has the advantage of another dimension, time. This technology is considerably more cost-effective than tests that are currently required to achieve the same diagnostic value. Plus, it can be used to image overweight patients, those with lung diseases and patients that are not able to be turned to different positions, which is required with 3D.

“Our engineers set out to address the challenge of inconclusive exams, to change the speed and precision of heart care. We’re proud to see the result, cSound, in the expert hands of the clinicians at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center,” said Al Lojewski, General Manager, Cardiovascular Ultrasound at GE Healthcare. “We believe ultrasound has the potential to rapidly transform how patients are cared for over the next decade, especially in cardiovascular care. We envision a day when all cardiologists can see inside any heart, providing more directed care for each patient.”

The detail in the moving images is hard to believe at first, and is almost like opening up the chest and peering inside the beating heart. GE’s breakthrough imaging software will benefit more and more patients as it is implemented into the latest advanced ultrasound machines. As of now, cSound is available on the Vivid S70, Vivid E90 and Vivid E95.

Here are some examples of 4D scans with cSound:

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