Ultrasound technology through the eyes of a search engine.
A simple Google search for ultrasound retrieves a plethora of information. Not surprisingly, the top results reveal the uses for ultrasound in the detection of pregnancy and for use by veterinarians (please see www.vetimagesolutions.co.uk for more information). However, this article focuses on the somewhat more unusual uses for that have been documented for ultrasound imaging.
Ultrasound intercoms have been specifically designed for the emergency services, including airport resuce and firefighters (Sigtronics). Furthermore, although less successful for body scanning at airport security, abdominal ultrasonography has had relatively more success in the detection of drug smuggling (Meijer R et al. 2011).
Ultrasound can also have therapeutic applications, with high frequency waves working to vibrate the body's cells. As a result, ultrasound treatment can be used for pain relief, circulation, scar reduction and skin and muscle rejuvenation (Wahanda). Due to the non-invasive properties of ultrasound, it is easy to see how this treatment may be infinitely preferable to others currently available on the market, such as Botox, especially for the 'needle-phobic'!
Finally, ultrasound scanning can also be used in the diagnosis of cancer, reducing the risk of unwanted side effects and allowing allowing the patient to immediately return to their daily life (NHS).
It should be noted that these applications are by no means exhaustive. Over 61 million results were retrieved following a Google search for 'ultrasound', demonstrating the versatility of this technology whether it be for veterinarians, physicians or the emergency services.
This article was written by Melissa Robbin, PhD in Reproductive Immunology.