Field Operable Ultrasound Needle Guidance System
Technical paper Jun-Jul 2011
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON LINCOLN LAB
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In this paper, we describe our prototype of an ultrasound guidance system consisting of a probe-mounted, lockable, articulating needle guide and a user-interface that provides real-time visualization of the predicted needle trajectory overlaid on the ultrasound images. Our needle guide ensures that the complete needle is always physically in the ultrasound imaging plane. The guide consists of instrumented links that relay the predicted needle trajectory to a software system which overlays it on the real-time ultrasound image. As a result, the practitioner will no longer need to estimate what the target trajectory should be, thus leading to less redirection of the needle after It has been inserted into the body. Finally, the guide is lockable, thus providing a means to prevent the needle from deviating from its desired trajectory as it is being inserted. This feature will also assist the practitioner to free one hand so as to complete tasks that usually require a second practitioner to perform, such as ultrasound adjustments and injection of medication. Overall, the system eliminates the experience required to develop the fine hand movements and dexterity needed to successfully perform uItrasound-guided procedures. This increases efficiency, safety, quality, and reduces costs for all ultrasound guided procedures from central line placements to peripheral nerve blocks. Furthermore, with the recent development of highly portable ultrasound imaging systems, this system will enable these procedures to be more easily performed by unskilled practitioners in non-ideal situations such as the battlefield and other disaster relief areas.