Towards Ultrasound Everywhere: A Portable 3D Digital Back-End Capable of Zone and Compound Imaging

Aya Ibrahim*, Shuping Zhang, Federico Angiolini, Marcel Arditi, Shinji Kimura, Satoshi Goto, Jean Philippe Thiran, Giovanni De Micheli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasound imaging is a ubiquitous diagnostic technique, but does not fit the requirements of the telemedicine approach, because it relies on the real-Time manipulation and image recognition skills of a trained expert, called sonographer. Sonographers are only available in hospitals and clinics, negating or at least delaying access to ultrasound scans in many locales-rural areas, developing countries-as well as in medical rescue operations. Telesonography would require an advanced imager that supports three-dimensional (3-D) acquisition; this would allow untrained operators to acquire broad scans and upload them remotely for diagnosis. Such advanced imagers do exist, but do not meet several other requirements for telesonography, such as being portable, inexpensive, and sufficiently low power to enable battery operation. In this work, we present our prototype of the first portable 3-D digital ultrasound back-end system. The prototype is implemented in a single midrange Xilinx field programmable gate array (FPGA), for an estimated power consumption of 5 W. The device supports up to 1024 input channels, which is state of the art and could be scaled further, and supports multiple image reconstruction modes. We evaluate the resource utilization of the FPGA and provide various quality metrics to ascertain the output image quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8371274
Pages (from-to)968-981
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct


  • Field programmable gate arrays
  • telesonography
  • ultrasound imaging
  • ultrasound quality metrics
  • volumetric ultrasound reconstruction-3D imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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