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Olympic Radiology takes ‘speckle’ out of ultrasounds

Dr. Brad Brown, of Olympic Radiology in Bremerton, shows how the new GE Logiq 9 takes an ultrasound image of the carotid artery in Michelle Sauer’s neck. - Jesse Beals/staff photo
Dr. Brad Brown, of Olympic Radiology in Bremerton, shows how the new GE Logiq 9 takes an ultrasound image of the carotid artery in Michelle Sauer’s neck.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

Two new ultrasound machines at Olympic Radiology in Bremerton have been a much needed improvement over past equipment.

Bought in July at a cost of $170,000 each, the GE Logiq 9 provides physicians at the practice with a high definition, multi-dimensional image of the area they’re scanning to help them make a better diagnosis.

That’s due to the advanced Speckle Reduction Imaging capabilities that reduces the “speckle,” or graininess, that’s usually a hallmark of ultrasound images.

With the reduction intact, the physician can get a better look at the area of examination and taking a look at organs such as the thyroid and superficial parts like muscles and soft tissue.

The imaging even works to highlight blood flow in the body, ensuring there’s no buildup in a major artery such as the carotid in the neck.

“We’re always looking for technology that’ll help us improve the patient experience,” services manager Allyson Metters said.

Dr. Brad Brown said the new machines are beneficial to help catch any potential problems with a patient.

The key is in the transducers, or the hand-held “magic wand” that is rubbed over the area to produce the images.

Brown said the transducers on the Logiq 9 cost about $20,000.

“They (GE) has the latest technology in providing the highest frequency and clearest imaging that you can get for looking at structures in the body,” he said. “If that (transducer) process can’t be interpreted quick enough, you get a slow, dragged image.

“In these cases, you’re getting a real-time, continuous image,” Brown continued. “It’s very current with what you’re looking at.”

The improved imaging also gives sonographers such as Brown “more confidence” in making a correct and better diagnosis.

Olympic Radiology is using the new technology to help promote Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month which is observed each October. The goal is to promote the use of ultrasound on a variety of body parts, blood vessels and tissues.

With the process using high frequency sound waves to record the echo to get an image, it’s regarded as inexpensive and with no risk to the patient.

“It’s a great time for radiology practices to promote that (ultrasound is) safe, it’s a great diagnostic tool that’s good for a variety of health concerns,” Metters said. “There’s no radiation invovled.”

For more information, visit www.olympicradiology.com or call (360) 479-6555.

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