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First-of-Its-Kind Prenatal Ultrasound Scanning Technology Diagnoses Fetal Anomalies

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 17 Aug 2023
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Image: A new AI tool can boost the quality of prenatal ultrasound exams (Photo courtesy of Sonio)
Image: A new AI tool can boost the quality of prenatal ultrasound exams (Photo courtesy of Sonio)

Birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies born in Europe and the US. Despite advancements in medical technology, 50% of these defects are not detected during ultrasound examinations. The challenge lies in the complexity of pregnancy ultrasounds, where multiple planes must be captured and numerous images taken. This complexity can often lead to lower quality or incomplete exams, resulting in half of all fetal anomalies being missed before birth. Now, a cutting-edge artificial intelligent (AI) ultrasound scanning technology can boost the quality of prenatal ultrasound exams, transforming the way fetal ultrasounds are performed.

Sonio’s (Paris, France) new AI tool, Sonio Detect, is a fetal ultrasound software as a service (SaaS) platform that enhances the assessment of fetal heart and brain structures. It employs AI to assist users in automatically selecting views and anatomical structures, and also in verifying quality criteria during the exams. Sonio Detect can quickly identify critical anatomical structures, such as the heart and brain, during fetal ultrasounds, saving precious time for healthcare professionals and increasing confidence in the diagnosis process. Sonio Detect offers exceptional accuracy in detecting accurate labels, views, and quality criteria. Importantly, this accuracy remains consistent regardless of patient demographics or the ultrasound device's manufacturer.

The software was validated using more than 17,000 ultrasound images, demonstrating 92% sensitivity in detecting labels and types of ultrasound images. For healthcare providers, including obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists (MFMs), and sonographers, Sonio Detect represents a significant advancement. It offers the potential to enhance and expedite the detection of critical anatomical structures, promising to make prenatal ultrasound exams more accurate and efficient. It can help medical professionals provide better care and possibly reduce the rate of undetected birth defects. Sonio Detect provides a powerful tool that ensures the highest quality of prenatal imaging, compatible with various types of ultrasound technology from brands like GE, Samsung, and Canon. Notably, Sonio Detect has become the first product in its category to receive US FDA approval.

“Bringing the first easy to use, manufacturer agnostic and efficient quality control solution to all OBGYNs, (maternal fetal medicine specialists) and sonographers, we believe better screening will lead to better detection of potential anomalies or reassurance to provide better maternal care,” said Cecile Brosset, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Sonio. “Our goal is to transform prenatal care by providing a reliable tool that ensures better health outcomes for both mothers and babies.”

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