World’s first ultra-high frequency ultrasound

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Staff in today’s hospitals are fortunate to have a wide range of medical imaging platforms available to them. Of these, is the most portable, cost-effective and safe imaging solution. However, clinical ultrasound to date, operates at frequencies that have been too low to produce good image quality for visualizing small anatomy.

To overcome this challenge, FUJIFILM VisualSonics, based in Toronto, ON, recently introduced the new Vevo MD (FDA cleared, Health Canada pending). The new Vevo MD is the world’s first Ultra High Frequency Ultrasound Imaging System available for the clinical market.  FUJIFILM VisualSonics specializes in developing ultrasound technology that has been scaled to much higher frequencies, up to 70 MHz in fact, which results in incredible, high resolution images within the first 3 cm of the body.

The Vevo MD was designed specifically to play a role in a range of clinical applications where greater image resolution is highly desired. For example, when an anesthesiologist needs to place a line to prep small children for surgery, she may have a tough time placing a line.  Often times, the line is almost as large as the vein itself in young children and infants. There are often multiple missed attempts that result in great discomfort for patients and families before the line is placed properly. Imaging the area, using the Vevo MD in this case, could greatly improve accuracy in line placement saving a lot of time and distress for everyone involved. FUJIFILM VisualSonics sees great potential for their new Vevo MD product across a wide range of clinical applications including neonatology, vascular, musculoskeletal, dermatology and other small parts that are within the first few centimetres of the body.

The launch of this new product is an exciting development for an organization that was once a start-up launched out of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. VisualSonics was founded in 1999 by medical physicist Dr. Stuart Foster, a Senior Scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute, who had been involved in the development of high-frequency ultrasonic systems since 1983. The company’s intellectual property was based on research supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund (ORDCF), the Terry Fox Foundation, and venture capital investment, with infrastructure support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Ontario Research Fund.

Originally, Dr. Stuart Foster and his team started using this technology in preclinical research, in small animal models of human disease (e.g. mice or rat models of cancer and cardiovascular disease). By using high frequency ultrasound, researchers were able to study their live animals in real-time, longitudinally, and with no issues of safety or side effects. “From the inception of the company, we always envisioned that the technology would eventually find a home in human clinical applications and it is exciting that that day has finally arrived,” says Dr. Foster.  In June of 2010, VisualSonics was acquired by SonoSite, Inc. (based in Bothell, US), a leader in hand-carried and mountable ultrasound, and impedance cardiography equipment. Sonosite, Inc., was then subsequently acquired by Fujifilm Holdings in December of 2011.

Now more than15 years later, after multiple successes in preclinical research, FUJIFILM VisualSonics has finally brought Ultra High Frequency Ultrasound to the clinical market. “We are confident that Vevo MD is the kind of progressive tool that health care providers around the world will find to be of value for a wide array of applications as well as still unexplored areas.” says Andrew Needles, director of marketing at FUJIFILM VisualSonics. “The challenge is getting the word out that this new product exists and to try and get it into the hands of those that can really expand on its uses.”

For more information visit: www.vevomd.com