FIRST CALL TEST FOR ULTRASOUND TRANSDUCERS
Probe is the most sensitive and most often damaged link in the ultrasound image quality chain since they are easy to drop, cables kinked/stressed & fragile elements. So it is necessary that all probes should be tested upon acquisition/upgrade/repair as well as quarterly and must be tested at least semiannually including probe ports to allow problems to be identified before diagnostic utility is significantly impacted. To test the quality of ultrasound transducers we go for first call test.
What is first call?????
The first call aPerio TM is a unique portable, high speed testing device designed to measure the relevant acoustic and electrical parameters of most electronic array transducers. It provides repeatable and quantifiable data required to determine the operational effectiveness of ultrasound transducers.
Why first call????
First call data is reported in a format that allows clear tracking of performance changes in transducers in such a way that it reveals any early change in the probe that may be cost effectively repaired before the probe fails and requires replacement or repairing at a much higher expense.
It helps the user to:
· Differentiating between transducer problems and ultrasound system problems
· Identify the source of most transducer problems
· Qualifying the performance of new or repaired transducers.
And help user to be more cost effective by:
· Lowering transducer cost of ownership
· Clarifying repair/replace decision making
· Aiding in transducer replacement planning
· Reducing time required for of diagnosis and service of transducers
How it works????
A first call system have OEM probe family adapters and probe family device drivers, the operating and report program, a universal probe holder, parallel PC cable, various probe targets and user documentation.
Once the probe is aligned in holder and connected to the system through proper adapter, it will start to provide required voltage to the transducer pins. This applied voltage will excite the crystals in transducers and the probe fires ultrasound signal to the water medium. The signals propagate through the medium, hit target and the echo will return back to transducer. First call system will generate the test report based on the strength and duration of the echo signals.
First Call aPerio tests:
- Element sensitivity
- Pulse Width
- Center Frequency
- Functional Bandwidth
First call test most electronic array probes produced by Acuson, Siemens, Aloka, ATL/Phillips, Agilent/Phillips, Toshiba, Esaote/BIOsound, GE, Medison, Sonosite, Hitachi and others.
There are certain companies outside India, who provides first call test and probe repair services. Some of them are:
1. Sonos Europe – Europe
2. Probe hunter – Sweden
3. Probe logic – Australia
4. MPI labs – United States of America
5. Unisyn medical technologies – United States of America
6. Acertara – united states of America
7. Senstech - Japan
In a populated and developing country like India, the application of ultrasound transducers in health care field plays a very important role in diagnosis and treatments. So it is essential to establish advanced technologies like first call test in this field for improving the quality of our medical instruments.