Visual probe localization enables cost-effective 3D ultrasound

Ultrasound vendors beware (and good news for the rest of us folks), a team from the “Multimedia University” (located at Cyberjava, in Selangor, Malaysia) has developed a method of creating 3D ultrasound images using a 2D ultrasound probe with a conventional digital camera. This innovative method is god-send for clinicians looking at providing quality patient care on a budget.

To quote the original article;

“The technique involves using a calibrated digital camera to identify the position of the ultrasound probe in relation to the camera. The probe is then calibrated to deduce its position in relation to the ultrasound scan. From this data, position information can be extracted and tagged to the respective scan.

This information is then loaded into a 3D ultrasound software application, STRADX, developed at the University of Cambridge in England. Although the software was created for freehand 3D ultrasound acquisition using a 2D system with an optical or magnetic tracking system for probe localization, the Malaysia researchers reported that it worked well with their setup.

And it seems that the Malaysia team’s proposed system (consisting of a Ricoh RDC i500 digital camera) costs only $700.

This my readers is the power of innovation (when one has no cash to get the real thing). Simply awesome.



  1. Peng says:

    I note that the picture in was obtained with a GE Voluson t30 3D ultrasound system, rather than from the Malaysian system. I wonder what their images are like.

  2. Adam Chee says:

    Good point, I’ll try contacting the university for some images.

    Stay tuned.

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