Intelligent Ultrasound (IU) announced on 2 May 2023 that it has added a new module to its ScanTrainer transvaginal and transabdominal ultrasound simulation platform – endometriosis. The new module comes with two e-learn modules and 24 endometriosis cases to support sonographers in their learning and identification of the disease. The objective – to enable early diagnosis in clinical practice, leading to a faster and more appropriate referral for patients.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is the name given to the condition where cells, similar to the ones in the lining of the womb, are found elsewhere in the body. Each month these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as part of the menstrual cycle, this blood has no way to escape and can cause inflammation, pain, the formation of scar tissue (adhesions) and potential infertility.
According to recent studies, 10% of women worldwide have endometriosis – that’s 176 million across the globe. In the UK that equates to 1 in 10 women, where endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition, impacting a similar number to those affected by diabetes. On average, it takes 8 years from the onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis in the UK.
The Endometriosis Foundation of America also reports that endometriosis impacts 1 in 10 women in the US also, where there is on average a 7–10-year delay in diagnosis.
Why Transvaginal Sonography is Essential for Endometriosis Diagnosis
Transvaginal Sonography (TVS) is a cost-effective first line technique for diagnosing endometriosis with the diagnostic performance of TVS and MRI being similar for detecting Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis (DIE) involving rectosigmoid, uterosacral ligaments and rectovaginal septum. Clinicians are increasingly using ultrasound as an alternative to invasive laparoscopic diagnosis but developing skills in identifying endometriosis using TVS can be challenging due to regional variations in training, the many presentations of endometriosis, variation in the lesions’ appearance and changes to normal anatomy due to the disease.
In collaboration with Dr Jean-Marc Levaillant, specialist sonographer in the field of gynaecology and obstetrics and Edwige Hurteloup, IU has developed an endometriosis module that will support clinicians and other Allied Health Professionals in developing an increased understanding of endometriosis using real ultrasound images.
Product Manager Talia Stokes commented, “The module is a perfect addition to our ScanTrainer simulation platform for OBGYN. Using real ultrasound images and companion e-learns, the module provides clinicians who currently use TVS to diagnose endometriosis, with the ability to practise systematic evaluation of the pelvis and identify commonly seen simple and more complex endometriotic disease on the ovaries, bowel and bladder.”
Talia continued, “The module will be available on the ScanTrainer Transvaginal Simulator (TVS) which provides haptic feedback to enable a realistic scanning feel and will provide access to a wide range of patient cases without causing pain and inconvenience to women suffering from endometriosis, ultimately supporting diagnosis and faster appropriate referral.”
About the New ScanTrainer Endometriosis Module
The new ScanTrainer endometriosis module will include 24 cases of endometriosis including disease of the bowel, bladder and ovaries in a range of locations, and uses the ScanTutor highlighting tool to support identification of lesions. The module comes with a companion e-learning package which provides background on the disease and its presentation, supporting learning before and during hands on training using the simulator. Checkpoints guide the user step by step through ultrasound evaluation of the pelvic compartments to support identification of endometriosis, while clinical cases further support the user in identifying disease in the bladder, bowel and ovaries through a series of annotated clinical case studies.
In addition to working with obstetrics and gynaecology specialists, IU also solicited feedback from local and overseas sonographers on the new module. Senior Sonographer Emma Hatton, who works across hospitals in the south of the UK, commented, “Using the endometriosis module has improved both my understanding and knowledge of this condition. It has made me more aware of my practice and my responsibility as a sonographer to improve diagnostic rates.”
Emma continued, “The sensitivity of ultrasound in providing an accurate diagnosis for these patients is no doubt related to the experience of the sonographer. Completing this module has most definitely improved mine and I feel more confident in my practice as a result.”
The new endometriosis module will be showcased at this year’s 15th World Congress on Endometriosis taking place from the 3rd – 6th May in Edinburgh. The module will be formally launched to existing ScanTrainer customers and potential new users from the 11th of May.
And it doesn’t stop there. In addition to the development of the new module, IU is also supporting fundraising initiatives, both at home and abroad. For every sale of the new module, the company will pledge £100 (or local equivalent) to a recognised endometriosis charity in the relevant region.
To learn more about ScanTrainer or its endometriosis module, visit our page at https://bmec.asia/my/intelligent-ultrasound
- Intelligent Ultrasound | https://www.intelligentultrasound.com/2023/05/02/intelligent-ultrasound-adds-endometriosis-module-to-scantrainer-to-support-sonographer-learning-and-early-diagnosis/
- Rogers PA, D’Hooghe TM, Fazleabas A, et al. Priorities for endometriosis research: recommendations from an international consensus workshop. Reprod Sci 2009;16(4):335-46.
- Diabetes UK: Diabetes prevalence 2012. (April 2012). Diabetes affects around 2.9 million people, of which slightly less than half of this are women
- Endometriosis in the UK: Time for Change – APPG on Endometriosis Inquiry Report 2020
- S Guerriero et al, Transvaginal ultrasound vs magnetic resonance imaging for diagnosing deep infiltrating endometriosis: systematic review and meta-analysis. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. May 2018.