Now Playing in 4D: Your Heart


  • Software sees with life-like clarity the human heart’s chambers, valves, vessels, and other intricate structures in 4D
  • Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, a national leader in heart and vascular care, is first hospital in the world to use new ultrasound software, designed by GE Healthcare for its newest cardiovascular ultrasound systems to help physicians effectively diagnose conditions in patients while potentially reducing additional tests often required in evaluating heart conditions
  • Big Data comes to heart health: technology can collect and analyze a practically infinite amount of data about the patient on-the-spot

Challenge & Solution:

  • 5.1 million people suffer from heart failure at an estimated cost of $32 billion[1] each year.
  • The most widely ordered cardiovascular test, transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE), are today inconclusive 10-15 percent of the time[2], resulting in additional testing at up to almost three times the original cost and an increased burden on the patient[3]. This is especially true for patients with lung disease, obese patients, or those who are in critical condition. 
  • Traditional hardware-based technology may often yield these inconclusive exams because it can only support a limited set of information without needing lengthy hardware redesigns. Because cSound relies on software and algorithms developed for different patient types and procedures, it may produce more detailed images of the heart and help support physicians in diagnosing patients.
  • This vividly accurate view of the heart in motion may help physicians make confident diagnoses and help reduce the up to 2.7 times additional cost for invasive follow up tests on a patient[3].
  • “At Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, we treat some of the most complex heart conditions, and having access to best-in-class technology that can help deliver excellent patient care is important,” said Bijoy Khandheria, MD, a cardiologist at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. “We believe the new cSound technology from GE Healthcare can help us efficiently and accurately diagnose and develop treatment plans for people suffering from heart failure conditions.”

cSound features

  • The secret behind the software, called cSound and designed by GE Healthcare for its newest cardiovascular ultrasound systems, is in its supercomputer-inspired ability to collect a potentially infinite amount of data from the patient and select pixel-by-pixel precise information to use in generating the image, all inside a machine that is portable, low cost and has no ionizing radiation.
  • “Our engineers set out to address the challenge of inconclusive exams, to change the speed and precision of heart care. We’re proud to see the result, cSound, in the expert hands of the clinicians at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center,” said Al Lojewski, General Manager, Cardiovascular Ultrasound at GE Healthcare. “We believe ultrasound has the potential to rapidly transform how patients are cared for over the next decade, especially in cardiovascular care. We envision a day when all cardiologists can see inside any heart, providing more directed care for each patient.”
  • Big Data inside the ultrasound system, inspired by the processing in many of today’s supercomputers. Traditional hardware-based beamforming machines can only process each individual piece of data separately, thus losing some in the process, which may produce unclear images. cSound stores and collects a practically infinite amount of channel data and does so faster than traditional systems.
  • Software beamforming, the next generation of adaptive transmitters and receivers, similar to those used in radar, seismology and WiFi communications, which then identifies the best data down to the individual pixel and converts that into meaningful, quantifiable and actionable images of the heart for the cardiologist. Traditionally technology creates this image segment by segment, filing in each segment layer by layer and eventually forming an advanced image. Software beamforming means the software analyzes all of the data upfront and produces one, high-quality image at once.
  • HDliveTM, an app that, like a high-end, post-production video studio, uses advanced illumination, shadowing and superimposed depth, to render a real-time amazingly realistic visualization of the patient’s heart. HDlive can be used to enhance 4D depth perception during image-guided interventions or in the echo lab for transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE) and transesophageal Echocardiograms (TEE).
  • Sony® high-definition OLED display, the newest evolution of wide screen professional display technology, customized to see the moving heart on a GE ultrasound in 4D for the first time. GE Healthcare’s Vivid E95 has a 22” version of this high-end display.
  • cSound is now commercially available on three new advanced ultrasound machines from GE Healthcare, the Vivid S70, Vivid E90 and Vivid E95, in the U.S., and some countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

[1]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate of heart failure in the U.S.

[2]Kurt M, Shaikh K, Peterson L, et al. Impact on contrast echocardiography on evaluation of ventricular function and clinical management in a large prospective cohort. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009; 53(9):802-810.  

[3]Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

This product is not available in all countries. Contact a GE sales representative with questions.


About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.


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