In 1993, physicist Dr. Georg Rose and neurologist Prof. Dr. Mario Siebler developed a a neural-network based algorithm for the automatic recognition of micro-emboli in the intracranial bloodstream. Dr. Andreas Bender of STAC customized his A/D- and DSP-boards for Transcranial Ultrasound Doppler emboli detection. The three of them together developed EMBOtec, a DOS-based software that successfully entered the Doppler market. EMBOtec was available for a spectrum of Doppler engines comprising Neuroguard, Kranzbühler, and Nicolet/EME. It can record (on DAT tape) and simultaneously analyze in real time bilateral Doppler signals, as well as replay nad analyze previously recorded DAT tapes, even those recorded on different Doppler systems.

EMBOtec analyzes the acoustical Doppler signal through a STAC A/D-board at a sampling rate of 6 kHz, has a DSP calculating real-time FFTs of two channels with 75% overlap, and subjects a moving window of 16 FFT-lines (width = 26=64), i.e. 1024 real values, to a 3-layer neural network specially “trained” to detect micro-emboli. This training has been performed with a database of approx. 5000 embolic signals to “learn” from (and tell them from the ubiquitous artifacts). The result of the intelligent algorithm and numerous weeks of CPU time on a Sparc Station is an unsurpassed sensitivity for micro-emboli, “better” than the human interobserver agreement.

EMBOtec has primarily been used in many neurological departments at universities, but also in peripheral hospitals. Despite the accidental difficulty to find a bone window in a patient´s head, EMBOtec has always been praised for its ease of use.

Until 1999 EMBOtec was successfully marketed by medilab GmbH&Co. KG. Unfortunately technical difficulties - basically the complete incompatibility of the new DAT recorder DA-40 with previous standards - made it necessary not only to reshape single modules of EMBOtec, but to rethink the entire software concept. The development of a completely new Windows based program was - and is - the task ahead. A potential cooperation with the neurology department at the university of Düsseldorf may once again lead to a state-of-the-art product. But this is still a long way to go. So EMBOtec is “currently unavailable”.

Last modified 05/18/07 11:48                           Upward