Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

R. Göbl, N. Navab, C. Hennersperger
SUPRA: open-source software-defined ultrasound processing for real-time applications
International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery / 9th International Conference on Information Processing in Computer-Assisted Interventions (IPCAI), Berlin, Germany, June 2018.
The original publication is available online at

Research in ultrasound imaging is limited in reproducibility by two factors: First, many existing ultrasound pipelines are protected by intellectual property, rendering exchange of code difficult. Second, most pipelines are implemented in special hardware, resulting in limited flexibility of implemented processing steps on such platforms.
With SUPRA, we propose an open-source pipeline for fully software-defined ultrasound processing for real-time applications to alleviate these problems. Covering all steps from beamforming to output of B-mode images, SUPRA can help improve the reproducibility of results and make modifications to the image acquisition mode accessible to the research community. We evaluate the pipeline qualitatively, quantitatively, and regarding its run time.
The pipeline shows image quality comparable to a clinical system and backed by point spread function measurements a comparable resolution. Including all processing stages of a usual ultrasound pipeline, the run-time analysis shows that it can be executed in 2D and 3D on consumer GPUs in real time.
Our software ultrasound pipeline opens up the research in image acquisition. Given access to ultrasound data from early stages (raw channel data, radiofrequency data), it simplifies the development in imaging. Furthermore, it tackles the reproducibility of research results, as code can be shared easily and even be executed without dedicated ultrasound hardware.
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