Chances are that at some point you or someone close to you has needed a check-up that involved an ultrasound machine. Whether it’s to check the status of a baby mid-pregnancy or to check for cysts, ultrasounds are irreplaceable and necessary equipment for any hospital.

But for most of us, ultrasound machines are a mystery: how do they work and what can they do for us?

Let’s break it down and learn more about this important medical tool.

ultrasound-93851293381682TzSWhat are ultrasounds used for?

Let’s start with the basics. Ultrasounds can be used for a variety of purposes including:

  • Pregnancy checks up on the development of the baby
  • Problems with blood circulation
  • Discovery of cysts
  • Monitoring kidneys

How do ultrasounds work?

Generally, ultrasounds work through the ingenious use of sound waves. The transducer sends sound waves and receives echoing waves in return, which vary depending on the material they bounce against. A computer algorithm then interprets these waves and shows them at different shades of grey so a specialist can read and understand the visualization.

The Components of Ultrasounds

An ultrasound machine consists of different components. In order to better appreciate how the machine works, it’s important to understand its most important components.

Transducer probe

An essential component of an ultrasound machine is the transducer probe. Its main function is transmitting high-frequency sound pulses into the body which hit boundaries between different tissues. Once it hits boundaries within the body, the transducer probe receives echoes that come in different shapes and sizes.

Ultrasound transducer probes can encounter a lot of abuse due to their intense use at hospitals. Because of this, they need to be consistently repaired by professionals. According to PRS France, which provide professional expert repairs on ultrasounds for hospitals and clinics in the B2B field, a proper probe testing and repair should include running operating tests, electronic bench tests and of course, electrical safety tests.

Central processing unit (CPU)

The CPU is the computer that handles the calculations and contains the electrical power supplies utilized by the CPU and the probe. The CPU is usually considered a very efficient calculator since it’s very good with numbers, but cannot accomplish much else by itself.

Transducer pulse controls

Its main function is changing the amplitude, frequency and duration of the pulses which radiate from the transducer probe.

Display

Once the CPU has completed its objective, the image from the ultrasound data is exhibited in the display. The image is developed through complex mathematical algorithms that analyzes the echoing sound waves.

Keyboard/cursor

It inputs data and takes measurements.

Disk storage device

It includes the hard disk, floppy and CD. Its purpose is to store the acquired images.

Printer

Prints the images.

Ultrasound machines have become necessary in the medical field due to their ability to help determine maladies or analyze the status of different tissues and organs in the body. As technology develops, they are only becoming more proficient and advanced in these processes.