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Advancements in Ultrasounds, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 932

Essay

Medical technology has been making major advances in recent times. Many of these improvements have allowed doctors and other health care professionals to greatly improve the quality of patient care around the world. Ultrasounds represent one of the most important advances made due to the plurality of uses that this medical technique can serve. In the medical field, ultrasound is typically used for medical imaging, detection of certain disorders, and to clean medical equipment. Originally however, ultrasound was utilized to measure distance in the air. Later, the technique was developed to detect ultrasound waves in the water. Once ultrasound air detection was perfected, the technique was adapted to provide medical sonographies, which have evolved to accommodate studies of various muscles, tendons, and internal organs (Dubose 205).

Ultrasound is a technique that uses sound pressure waves to determine the location of an object. Originally, it was used for sea travel to enable sailors to understand the distance of objects both above and below water (Woo 1). This technique was referred to as SONAR, which stood for Sound Navigation and Ranging. Using this method, ships were able to send out sound waves and determine how far they were able to travel before it bounces off an object. The distance of an object was then recorded based on the return wave signal. In this manner, ships were able to determine if other ships were nearby and whether their navigation path should be altered as a consequence. This technique had other practical applications as well, as it allows ships in distress to determine if other crews would be nearby for assistance or whether nearby vessels posed a threat. Therefore, ultrasound was a useful tool that allowed sailors to make important decisions regarding their travel route.

The use of ultrasound was enhanced for the first time as a consequence of the establishment of modern submarine designs. While the submarine was invented as early as the 1500s by the Greeks, this design was not successful until the design crafted by the Germans in World War I. This new design was successful primarily because it applied the knowledge of the SONAR system to the underwater craft (Donald 109). In this manner, individuals who travelled in submarines were able to more effectively determine the distance of nearby ships. This was meaningful both in terms of the protection this afforded in addition to the enhanced ability for this vessel to serve an attack. In World War I, Germany used this craft primarily as a means to sink enemy ships. This popularized the use of the submarine for both warfare and deep sea research and the SONAR system was perfected to allow for the finer detection of deep sea objects (Showell 1). This is the same technique used by researchers to explore deep sea ship wrecks, such as the Titanic. Ultimately, ultrasound has allowed humanity to gain a greater understanding of our ocean’s depths, occasionally allowing us to be aware of objects and animals that we are unable to view firsthand. From these ventures, scientists gained an understanding of how ultrasound works both in the air and water and used this understanding to develop medical interventions that would be able to help treat patients.

As a consequence of the knowledge of ultrasound that had been developed as a consequence of sea travel, diagnostic ultrasonography was developed. This method was used to noninvasively examine the various components of the human body that are not typically observed. This allowed doctors to observe medical disorders that were previously unable to be detected. The originally form of sonography used was highly basic and used the distance that sound waves travel to determine the location of body components. This was particularly helpful in determining the size of a growing fetus in pregnant women, and this continues to be a common use of ultrasound in the medical field today (Kieler et al. 233).

As doctors noticed the value that ultrasound had, this technique was perfected for medical use. An example of such an enhancement is Doppler ultrasonography in which the Doppler Effect is used to determine whether objects are moving towards or away from the probe (Dubose 173). This allows the images generated by this technique to be more high definition. As a consequence, a majority of the images provided by sonography today are highly detailed which allows doctors to diagnose a variety of disorders compared to the amount that was possible during its inception. It is likely that this technique will continue to evolve for enhanced use in the future.

In conclusion, ultrasound was originally developed for sea travel but has evolved to accommodate medical interventions. Ultrasound measures the distance that sound waves travel, which provides information regarding the distance of difficult to access objects. This can be used in the medical setting to treat a variety of medical disorders. As our knowledge of ultrasound increases, the amount of things that we will be able to do with this technology will increase as well. It is likely that this technique will continue to revolutionize both ocean travel and medicine.

Works Cited

Dubose, T. J.; Baker, A. L. Confusion and Direction in Diagnostic Doppler Sonography. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography 25.3(2009): 173.

Dubose, T. J. Fetal Biometry: Vertical Calvarial Diameter and Calvarial Volume. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography 1.5(1985): 205.

Kieler, Helle; Axelsson, Ove; Haglund, Bengt; Nilsson, Staffan; Salvesen, Kjell Å. Routine ultrasound screening in pregnancy and the children’s subsequent handedness. Early Human Development 50.2(1998): 233–45

Showell, J. The U-Boat Century:German Submarine Warfare 1906–2006. Great Britain: Chatham Publishing, 2006.

Woo J. A short History of the development of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. N.D. Web. 3 March 2015. <http://www.ob-ultrasound.net/history1.html>

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