News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | June 09, 2016

ASE Hosts Cardiac Ultrasound Innovation Competition

TeleHealthRobotics, Tele-Robotic Ultrasound, TRUDI, robotic ultrasound

The Tele-Robotic Ultrasound for Distance Imaging (TRUDI) system uses a robotic arm so a remote sonographer can control the echo probe without the need for them to be in the same room or even be in the hospital during an exam or procedure. 

June 9, 2016 — The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) will host Echovation Challenge 2016, a competition for the scientific community featuring innovative solutions to improve workflow efficiency in cardiovascular ultrasound. The event will be held at ASE's annual meeting at 5 p.m. PDT Sunday, June 12 in Ballroom B of the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Competing in the event, the first team TeleHealthRobotics: Tele-Robotic Ultrasound for Distance Imaging (TRUDI), will present a new system to guide transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR). This guidance program for structural heart interventions will be performed without transesophageal echo and not require general anesthesia, potentially reducing procedural time and patient risk.

The second team DiACardio: Auto Left Ventricular (LV) Function Evaluation Using Contrast Echo, will showcase a technology based on an innovative algorithm for endocardial border detection. The software could improve the evaluation of ejection fraction (EF) and segmental LV function when using contrast echocardiography, likely resulting in improved efficiency and accuracy, as well as cost and time savings for echo labs.

The third team EchoPlan: Go with the Flow: Integrating Doppler Data into TAVR Planning, will describe a system that provides high-quality valve modeling to optimize the deployment of prosthetic heart valves without radiation exposure for the patient. Their approach uses routinely acquired echo imaging and flow data with an aim to decrease expenses and facilitate safer transcatheter heart valve procedures.

The live judging panel will provide a diverse set of perspectives for evaluating the team presentations, ranging from an echocardiography practitioner, a business development expert, a healthcare business professional, and a digital entrepreneur. The presentations, given in a “TED” talk format, will be graded on their ability to solve a problem, originality, potential for real impact in the field, and presentation. The audience will also be involved, using an app to help grade the live presentation styles, a key element for the ranking of the finalists. 

The competition will be judged by a panel of diverse experts including Seattle-based entrepreneur and CEO of Actively Learn, Jay Goyal; University of Washington’s Regional Heart Center Director, Larry S. Dean, M.D.; MedAxiom’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, Larry Sobal; and ASE President, Susan Wiegers, M.D.. The judges will select a winner out of the three finalists who were chosen from a wide range of submissions. 

The purpose of Echovation Challenge 2016 is to foster and showcase novel approaches, technologies, and processes that have the capacity to enhance the workflow efficiency of cardiovascular ultrasound laboratories while maintaining excellence in patient care.

“Innovation is not always iterative, progress can happen quickly through a disruptive technology. This event was formed to showcase novel efforts to improve health outcomes. ASE hopes this will stir the imagination of others and lead to more efficient delivery of care in the future,” said Steven Lester, M.D., chair of innovation and entrepreneurship at Mayo Clinic Arizona and ASE’s competition chair.

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