[conspire] Wanted: Open Source Ultra Sound Software?

George Pope gpope at pcmagic.net
Fri Aug 24 21:13:30 PDT 2007

The other day  when I had a carotid artery scan I asked the Mills 
Hospital technician Cindy about the cost of their Acuson Sequoia 180? 
$500k! "Proprietary costs" as in pharmaceuticals? I must say that she 
took very precise measurements on yours truly (no worries).

I was thinking about African maternal mortality figures that I had seen. 
These are usually given on a per 100,000 births basis - 440 in Ghana, 
2000 in war ravaged in Sierra Leon! and 12 in the USA. Didn't come 
across numbers for war ravaged Iraq.

Terri Davis,  Regional Sales Manager, National Ultrasound emailed that a 
refurbished Sequoia 512 might cost $50K and when I called she told me 
that a $10k refurbished Sonosite 180 had been recently shipped to 

Still I'm wondering if any of you might know open source programmers who 
may either have or who could design lower cost ultra sound software to 
run on a hi end Linux laptop (Ms. Davis thought not) that could do the 
job done out in the villages? A suitable pediatric probe would of course 
have to be included - about $1k. National is adverting a Sonosite 11 mm 
broadband curved array pediatric/pediatric cardiac/neonatal 
head/vascular that serves the 180, a little more than your average mouse.

In real life problems transcend even these mortality numbers. Brain 
damage and many other problems result from birth complications. Add to 
this the crash that must occur on the death of a mother in the lives of 
surviving children.

My wife supports the Presbyterian Mobile Health Unit in Bolgatanga. This 
is in the North, a poorer part of the country. Trained PMH nurses go out 
to villages and coach expectant mothers on how to take better care of 
themselves and look out for problems the old low tech way - relatively 

I am convinced that helping illiterate people who make less than a 
dollar a day MUST be done on an outreach basis. The nurse has to drive 
out there. The problem is poverty caused inertia in rural areas.

There has got to be a world wide market for low cost ultra sound 
equipment. The economic future of many countries depends on this.




cc: Sonosite hoping these remarks many be helpful.

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