The Images That Make You Smile.

     Sitting in a cramped medical office on a Saturday doesn’t sound like much fun, but as I struggled to identify the languages of all the people mixed up in the waiting room, I realized that it didn’t matter what language was being spoken, everyone seemed to be filled with a little excitement. The reason they were excited was that behind the “vault” door of the font office were examining rooms that held the key to their smiles, GE’s Voluson 730 Expert. This piece of medical equipment was going to give the mothers and fathers the experience my mom and dad never had, the opportunity to share those nine months of pregnancy with the aid of pictures and videos. The chance to see your baby develop is only two decades old and the technology has come a long way.
     The ultrasound machine has been around for a long time, but with advances in the technology it is now accessible to all parents. The ultra sound was inspired by the military’s use of sonar. It uses high frequency sound waves that scan and bounce off the abdomen to produce images. It was first used in the 1950’s. Now the technology allows doctors the ability to evaluate the development and growth of the fetus and identify any abnormalities.
    The first ultrasounds usually take place at the 18th to 20th week, the anomaly scan; it provides the parents with their first 2D images of the little one. Along with 2D images, technology has grown to where you can get 3D and even 4D images of the baby. The 3D images take the sound waves and produce a 3D image that can allow parents to see the features of the baby in the womb. 4D is just 3D with time action. 4D is quicker and can capture two or four images a second. So when the probe glides against the baby bump the screen can amaze parents with 3D video images of the baby in motion, sucking a thumb, yawning, or in my case giving daddy a wave; sorry mommy, that’s what I saw.
     So on your next trip to hot crowded office, relax, your eyes are about to be awed by technology. Here is Vincent in 2D and 3D.

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