Munich Startup Uses AI to Take Medical Imaging to Another Dimension

ImFusion uses deep learning, image processing to turn 2D ultrasound data into 3D images.
by Daniel Saaristo

Medical imaging provides a window into the human body, allowing us to see under the skin.

But to really understand what’s going on inside our bodies, doctors need 3D imagery. And there’s no time this would be more helpful than during surgery.

Now, ImFusion, a Munich-based startup and NVIDIA Inception program member, is taking medical imaging into the next dimension. It’s using AI to turn 2D ultrasound data into 3D images.

Making Surgical Procedures More Efficient

Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans give insights into the anatomy and processes of the body. These enable doctors to make effective diagnoses and build comprehensive treatment plans.

But CTs and MRIs have limitations, including the fact that doctors can’t use them during surgery due to the large, complex machinery involved.

ImFusion’s software suite is set to change this.

It converts 2D ultrasound scans into 3D images using a series of AI algorithms, developed on NVIDIA GPUs.

ImFusion takes 2D ultrasound data and translates it into interactive 3D models.

A 2D ultrasound probe captures real-time images, which are then superimposed onto a previously obtained CT or MRI image. This can be performed during a surgical procedure, making it possible for doctors to have a single, comprehensive view — when they need it most.

“We’re providing all surgeons more information during surgery,” said Wolfgang Wein, CEO of ImFusion. “The power of deep learning and image processing increases the dimensionality of the data we have.”

The ImFusion framework is extremely flexible. Customers can choose the components best suited for their needs, including data processing, AI algorithms and visualization tools.

With the availability of a development kit and the standalone ImFusion Suite, the software is poised to enhance the work of clinicians, as well as engineers and researchers.

Giving Doctors 3D Vision

Hospitals, research institutes and companies are already using ImFusion’s algorithms to develop prototypes of new medical imaging devices and surgical robots.

Austria’s piur imaging GmbH is working with the company to replace expensive and time-consuming scans with tomographic ultrasound imaging.

Its PIUR tUS system improves the clinical workflows for vascular, abdominal and neurological diagnostics and treatment. It’s the first system capable of enhancing any ultrasound device with tomographic capabilities. This includes 2D to 3D ultrasound reconstruction, real-time detection and segmentation of vessels, as well as multi-scan registration and stitching.

With ImFusion’s framework, piur imaging is able to provide more comprehensive insights for clinicians and patients to improve patient care.

Learn more about ImFusion’s work at GTC 2019, March 17-21 in Silicon Valley, for their session “Shaping the Future of Medical Ultrasound Imaging with Deep Learning and GPU Computing.”

Register for GTC here.


* The ImFusion Suite standalone software is primarily meant for visualization and prototyping purposes and, therefore, is currently not certified as a medical product. It has neither FDA approval nor does it bear a CE marking.