What Is Diagnostic Medical Sonography?
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Diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) is an allied health field that uses imaging equipment and sound waves are used to create images of organs, tissues, and even blood vessels inside the body. From verifying blood flow, looking for signs of cancer, and providing intricate images of tissue and internal organs, DMS technology is often considered an all-purpose tool.
Medical sonographers provide physicians with the right information in order to diagnose and/or treat many internal health issues.
Doctors investigate what’s happening internally to our bodies, but rely upon sonographers to provide the proof. The role of a diagnostic medical sonographer is critically important in helping doctors make accurate diagnoses.
Are Ultrasounds and Sonograms the Same?
The sonogram vs. ultrasound debate can be confusing, as the two are often used interchangeably. Ultrasounds are the high-pitched vibrations used to create a medical image. This medical image is called a sonogram.
At 20,000 Hz, these sounds aren’t audible to humans (although dogs can probably pick them up). Due to their high frequency, these waves have come to be known as “ultra-sounds.”
Ultrasound techs and diagnostic medical sonographers are essentially the same professions. Regardless of the job title, the job responsibilities and the required education is often the same.
A 5-Minute History of Medical Sonography
Scientists have been working to understand sonography since the 1700s. The earliest studies revolved around the high-pitched frequencies bats use to locate prey. Scientists realized they could replicate this technology by harnessing the power of sound to find (or “see”) a particular object.
Physicist Paul Langévin – a contemporary and friend of Albert Einstein – developed tools that would allow deep underwater searches for objects like submarines. Sonar sound waves were directed through the ocean until they hit an object and bounced back, producing accurate coordinates.
The same technology was soon applied to medicine, with neurologist Karl Dussik using sonography to pinpoint the location of tumors inside a human skull. His work helped pave the way for doctors to test sonography’s potential in other medical fields like obstetrics and cardiology.
While these technologies are much the same, physicians use higher frequencies to create detailed internal images. The shorter travel distance allows us to produce much sharper and precise images.
DMS scanning technology continues to evolve today, expanding the 3D and 4D imaging field.