Patents Examined by Ali Imam
  • Patent number: 7303530
    Abstract: Methods and systems for obtaining ultrasound and sensing other patient characteristics are provided from summary. One or more sensors are provided in a same transducer probe as an array of elements. For example, sensors are formed on a same semiconductor substrate, such as a silicon substrate, as microelectromechanical devices or a capacitive membrane ultrasonic transducer (CMUT). As another example, a sensor is provided separate from or attached to transducer materials. Possible sensors include temperature, pressure, microphone, chemical and/or other sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2007
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen R. Barnes, Mirsaid Bolorforosh
  • Patent number: 7264356
    Abstract: Systems and methods for determining and addressing color-vision impairment by allowing a patient to compare multiple images of a scene wherein the color content of selected ones of the images has been manipulated by altering a portion of the color space that is less detectable to a person having a particular type of color vision impairment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2007
    Assignee: Tenebraex, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter W. J. Jones, Dennis W. Purcell
  • Patent number: 7238158
    Abstract: Ultrasonic acoustic imaging finds many uses, particularly in the field of non-invasive medical testing. Detection of Doppler shifted acoustic frequencies permits observation of flow of a particle-containing liquid, for example, blood flow. In order to see slower moving blood by Doppler ultrasound investigation, as the blood moves from major blood vessels into arterioles and capillaries, it is necessary to lower the pulse repetition frequency. The herein disclosed invention is an interleaving technique that lowers the effective pulse repetition frequency at each probe position without exacting these system penalties.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2007
    Assignee: Allez Physionix, Ltd.
    Inventor: Kenneth Abend
  • Patent number: 7229412
    Abstract: A medical ultrasound viewing system for processing a sequence of three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasound images far performing a quantitative estimation of a flow through a body organ comprising means for performing steps of acquiring a sequence of 3D color flow images, of said flow; assessing the flow velocity values in the 3D images, constructing isovelocity surfaces (6) by segmentation of the flow velocity values; computing the volume (Vol) delimited by the isovelocity surfaces; and using the flow velocity value (V) and the volume (Vol) computed from a segmented surface for computing the surface of an orifice (3) of the organ through which the flow propagates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2007
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventors: Marie Jacob, Olivier Gerard, Antoine Collet-Billon
  • Patent number: 7226424
    Abstract: Instruments for performing percutaneous biopsy procedures are disclosed, which have advantageous features for improving functionality and performance over prior art devices. These instruments comprise two types, single-use devices, and multiple-use devices having active tissue capture capability. Improved features include the ability to retrieve and evaluate multiple tissue samples during a single insertion procedure, without physical handling of the samples, as well as constructional features, such as a molded tissue cassette housing, variant vacuum port embodiments suited for different tissue environments, and a method for backflushing the instrument to remove biological debris, among others.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2007
    Assignee: Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark A. Ritchart, J. Michael Stuart, Fred H. Burbank, Kenneth M. Galt
  • Patent number: 7214191
    Abstract: An apparatus, method, system, component kit and protective sheath for cannulation of blood vessels are disclosed. The apparatus comprises a sensor assembly to provide ultrasound images of at least one blood vessel in a portion of a patient's body in two perpendicular planes. The sensor assembly may have graphic markings on an exterior surface thereof to facilitate orientation of the sensor assembly on the patient and guidance of a needle towards a desired target vessel during the cannulation procedure. The sensor assembly may also include associated structure to cooperate with a reference location element to place, align and secure the sensor assembly to the patient's skin at a desired location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Assignee: Inceptio Medical Technologies, L.C.
    Inventors: Bradley J. Stringer, Gary A. Simmons, Douglas A. Christensen, Shayne Messerly, Cameron P. Ford, Robert W. Evensen
  • Patent number: 7211045
    Abstract: A method and system for estimating the volume of blood ejected from the left ventricle of the heart to a succeeding chamber/conduit, or vice-versa, while imaging the intersection of such structures is described. The process utilizes either the M-mode to estimate volume differences in a view of the ventricle over time or Doppler processing techniques to obtain flow profiles across intersections (e.g., valves), or blood vessels, which are then utilized to calculate output. This process can be combined with ECG guidance/triggering to measure/track changes in output from beat to beat, or during the course of an evaluation or therapeutic procedure. This process can be specifically used for the placement of permanent pacemaker electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2007
    Assignee: EP Medsystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Praveen Dala-Krishna, Charles Bryan Byrd, David Jenkins, Charles Lee Byrd
  • Patent number: 7144371
    Abstract: A transesophageal ultrasound probe for imaging internal structures via an imaging element located on the distal end of a rotating endoscope shaft. The probe includes a rotating endoscope having an imaging element mounted on the distal end of the rotating endoscope shaft. The probe also includes a control handle for controlling the imaging controls and a rotation tube that extends through the rotating endoscope shaft and into the control handle. The rotating shaft rotates relative to, and independently of, the control handle. Preferably, the rotating shaft is rotated via a rotation control wheel. The rotation control wheel is fastened or bonded to the rotating tube so that manual rotation of the control wheel causes the rotation tube to rotate, and therefore, the rotating shaft to rotate. Because the rotating endoscope shaft rotates, an imaging element located on, or within, the rotating shaft also rotates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2006
    Assignee: GE Medical Systems Global Technology Company, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen Dodge Edwardsen, Dag Jordfald
  • Patent number: 7128418
    Abstract: A method for testing a plurality of regions in a color space to identify any of, or a subcombination of, the following color vision deficiencies: protanopia, deuteranopia, tritanopia, and related anomalies. A set of distractor colors is distributed across a region of color space such that the confusion line through a single target color intersects approximately the middle of the set. The distractor set spans a region extending in both chromaticity and luminance, which provides leeway for display errors since the confusion line will intersect the set even if colors do not render exactly as specified, and color deficient observers would still not be able to identify the target. A web-based implementation enables remote testing of subjects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventor: Wendelin L. Sachtler
  • Patent number: 7128713
    Abstract: A pulse Doppler ultrasound system and associated methods are described for monitoring blood flow and hemodynamics. The Doppler ultrasound system includes an ultrasound probe to emit ultrasound signals and detect reflected signals therefrom and further includes a processor coupled to the ultrasound probe and operable to process the detected reflected signals and calculate therefrom blood flow data for a plurality of locations at time intervals, the processor further operable to identify locations at which blood flow having a hemodynamic characteristic is present based on the blood flow data calculated for a plurality of the time intervals. A user interface coupled to the processor provides blood flow information based on the blood flow data, the blood flow information representative of detected blood flow and the presence of the hemodynamic characteristic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: Spentech, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark A. Moehring, Joseph H. Farnsworth, Ajay Philip Zachariah, Henry James Baron, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7092748
    Abstract: A three-dimensional map of the probability of brain or heart functional states is obtained based on electric or magnetic signals, or a combination of both measured in the surface of body. From signals, the statistical descriptive parameters are obtained and a map of its distribution is calculated. The map is the inverse solution of the problem based upon: a) the restriction of the solution to structures with high probability of generating electric activity using for this restriction an Anatomical Atlas and b) imposing that the solution belong to a pre-specified functional space. The probability is determined that this map belongs to a test group. The spatial and temporal correlations of the map are modeled as well as their dependence on experimental covariables. The resulting probabilities are coded in a pseudocolor scale and they are superimposed on a Anatomical Atlas for their interactive three-dimensional visualization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2006
    Assignee: Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas (CNIC)
    Inventors: Petro Antonio Valdes Sosa, Jorge Francisco Bosch Bayard, Eduardo Francisco Aubert Vazquez, Trinidad Virues Alba, Frank Morales Aguilera, Nelson Jesus Trujillo Barretto, Jorge Miguel Soler McCook, Jorge Javier Riera Diaz, Maria Elena Fuentes Montero
  • Patent number: 7087020
    Abstract: Methods for processing ultrasound signals are provided. Processing of ultrasound signals comprises identifying qualified reconstruction channels in a receive aperture, grouping qualified reconstruction channels in the aperture, and preprocessing of selected echo signals using the grouped qualified reconstruction channels to produce reconstruction signals. Additional methodologies comprise comparing a number of channels in a receive aperture with a number of reconstruction channels to determine a number of reconstruction signals and grouping qualified channels in the receive aperture such that the number of reconstruction data signals is not less than the number of reconstruction channels. An ultrasound reconstruction unit comprising a receive aperture control engine configured to use selected echo signals to adaptively determine a set of reconstruction signals is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignee: Zonare Medical Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Ching-Hua Chou, Glen W. McLaughlin, Larry Y. L. Mo, Ting-Lan Ji
  • Patent number: 7087022
    Abstract: A hand-held 3D ultrasound instrument is disclosed which is used to non-invasively and automatically measure amniotic fluid volume in the uterus requiring a minimum of operator intervention. Using a 2D image-processing algorithm, the instrument gives automatic feedback to the user about where to acquire the 3D image set. The user acquires one or more 3D data sets covering all of the amniotic fluid in the uterus and this data is then processed using an optimized 3D algorithm to output the total amniotic fluid volume corrected for any fetal head brain volume contributions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignee: Diagnostic Ultrasound Corporation
    Inventors: Vikram Chalana, Stephen Dudycha, Gerald McMorrow
  • Patent number: 7081092
    Abstract: Methods, systems and devices are provided for monitoring and quantifying the movement of fluid in a target region. Generally, an imaging agent is introduced into a target region through fluid flow. The imaging agent in the target region is then disrupted using appropriate methods such as the application of ultrasonic energy. As fluid flow brings undisrupted imaging agent into the target region, the rate of accumulation is monitored and quantified thereby providing the exchange rate and flow rate of the fluid in the target region. The disclosed invention is particularly useful for medical applications such as determining the flow rate of blood in an organ or tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: IMCOR Pharmaceutical Company
    Inventor: Ernest G. Schutt
  • Patent number: 7081093
    Abstract: An ultrasonic apparatus is provided for producing three dimensional images using at least one moving curved array transducer for scanning a volume of a region of interest to be imaged. The apparatus includes an acoustic front shell having complex shape and an ultrasonic transducer adapted for swinging movement underneath the front shell and having a front surface of a shape conforming to the complex shape of the front shell. A motor provides the swinging movement of the ultrasonic array transducer underneath the front shell so as to scan a volume of the region of interest. The shell and a transducer carrier may be of an ovoid shape. The transducer may include lips at superior edges thereof which contain a coupling grease. Multiple transducers for different applications may be employed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: Vermon
    Inventor: Aimé Flesch
  • Patent number: 7074185
    Abstract: A pre-acquired reference image, a currently picked-up ultrasonic image, and position information indicating a relation between a position of the ultrasonic probe when the reference image was picked-up and a current position of the ultrasonic probe are displayed on a display portion as navigation information. Also, when the following diagnosis image is to be acquired, probe movement information, specifying a position or the like to which the ultrasonic probe has to be moved, is displayed on the display portion as the navigation information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Takashi Takeuchi
  • Patent number: 7074186
    Abstract: Transmit based axial whitening is provided. Ultrasonic waveforms to be transmitted are designed to provide for wideband imaging characteristics prior to detection. Rather than transmitting a waveform having a spectral magnitude as white or flat as possible, waveforms with adjusted spectral content, such as spectrally bi-modal waveforms are generated in order to compensate for subsequent effects. Prior to detection, a more wideband or whiter signal response is provided in response to the transmitted waveform. Any of various alterations of the transmit waveform, such as asymmetric, spectrally bi-modal or other characteristics in anticipation of a system transfer function or physical phenomena through which the signal passes electronically or acoustically to result in a wideband or white spectral magnitude and generally linear spectral phase is used. The transmit waveform is altered to improve the imaging characteristics of the downstream processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Rickard C. Loftman, Karen E. Morgan, Erkan Mumcuoglu, Kutay F. Ustuner, Zoran Banjanin
  • Patent number: 7070565
    Abstract: The present invention employs hydrogels as acoustic couplings for clinical applications of ultrasound imaging and therapy, but is particularly applicable to high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) based therapy. While other materials can be used, it has been determined that polyacrylamide is sufficiently robust and transmissive to withstand the high temperatures encountered in HIFU therapy. One embodiment of a hydrogel coupling is configured in shape and size (length) to ensure that a focal region of an ultrasound transducer is disposed proximate the target area when the distal tip of the transducer is in contact with tissue. These couplings can be shaped to correspond to the beam focus characteristics of specific transducers. Water can be applied to hydrate the tip of the hydrogel coupling during use, and medication absorbed into the hydrogel material can be applied to the tissue in contact with the distal surface of the hydrogel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: University of Washington
    Inventors: Shahram Vaezy, Adrian Prokop, Roy W. Martin, Peter Kaczkowski, Misty Noble
  • Patent number: 7066889
    Abstract: An ultrasound cavital probe suitable for transrectal or other usage, includes an ultrasound probe, having an outer housing, a pair of motors within one end of the housing, a first shaft operatively associated with one of the motors to provide longitudinal movement to the ultrasound transducer, while a second shaft operatively associated with the second motor, and which extends through the hollow interior of the first said shaft, provides for pivotal or rotary movement to the ultrasound transducer and probe, to furnish a 2-dimensional view of the surrounding anatomy, and which in combination with the movement from the first shaft, furnishes a 3-dimensional volumetric scan of the surrounding anatomy, along with facilitating the image plane movements normally obtained by a standard probe while used in a stepping device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Envisioneering, LLC
    Inventor: James D. Taylor
  • Patent number: 7066888
    Abstract: A method and associated apparatus are disclosed for determining the location of an effective center of fluid flow in a vessel using an ultrasound apparatus. Ultrasound energy is propagated along an axis of propagation and projects upon the vessel. A Doppler-shifted signal reflected from the fluid in the vessel is received and a set of quantities expressed as a density is derived from the Doppler shifted signal for each of a set of coordinates, the density being a function of the Doppler shift in frequency associated with each of the coordinates. One of a mean, mode or median is calculated for each of the dimensions of the set of coordinates in conjunction with the density associated therewith. This calculation is repeated throughout the field of view of the vessel to define a centerline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Allez Physionix LTD
    Inventors: Kenneth Abend, Alan Stein