The January 29, 2019 online edition of Medical Product Outsourcing (MPO) magazine features When Should You Design Ultrasound Hardware from Scratch? written by Kenneth MacCallum, Principal Engineering Physicist, StarFish Medical.
MacCallum notes, “Ultrasound system development includes some of the biggest electronic, digital logic, and software design challenges of all medical devices.”
He explains the conundrum faced by colleagues eager for a challenge, but constrained by time and budget: “Nowadays, there are a bunch of vendors that supply original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ultrasound subsystems that can be incorporated into a medical device design. Many unique medical applications can simply be built onto existing ultrasound systems, either purely with software or with the addition of some limited custom hardware. Notwithstanding all of this, there are certain applications that do require a from-scratch solution. Here are some of the conditions that hint such a solution is warranted.”
After examining the pros and cons of make vs buy, MacCallum sums up the article with this advice: “I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade if they think they need to design an ultrasound system from scratch. There’s nothing more interesting and fulfilling than this sort of design challenge. Having said that, if you’re going to invest all that time and effort, it really makes sense to consider it carefully and to understand the magnitude of this challenge.”