GE Healthcare, of Waukesha, Wis., has obtained an exclusive license for an automated ultrasound image acquisition technique for the diagnosis of fetal heart defects.

Called Sonography based Volume Computer Aided Diagnosis (SonoVCAD), the automation protocol is the patented work of Alfred Abuhamad, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School.  The SonoVCAD will be included in the Voluson E8, the next generation of the GE Voluson ultrasound platform for women’s healthcare.

This proprietary SonoVCAD technology displays all of the 2D planes, which includes identification of the four-chamber, left outflow tract and right outflow tract views of the fetal heart. Clinicians can then identify a standard starting point and examine planes automatically generated from a four-chamber view, made possible by Abuhamad’s algorithms.

“SonoVCAD introduces standardization into ultrasound imaging and helps to reduce the risk of operator exam misinterpretation,” Abuhamad said. “By simplifying the technical aspects associated with a fetal ultrasound exam, the detection of fetal heart abnormalities should also be enhanced.”