We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

PolyU develops tiny 3D ultrasound imaging system

Image Credits: HK PolyU, Press Release

Researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) announced their top experts in scoliosis research have developed a portable imaging system developed. The technology will enable a greater number of youngsters to have their scoliosis conditions detected early and monitored frequently.

Scolioscan Air, first-of-its-kind palm-sized 3D ultrasound imaging system, will be used for radiation-free scoliosis assessment. It can bring accurate, safe and cost-efficient mass screening to schools and anywhere in the community.

The portable system was developed by the research team of PolyU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) was recently awarded Grand Award, Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury, and Special Merit Award at a massive international convention held in April 2019.

Scoliosis is one of the most prevalent spinal diseases affecting adolescents. It is estimated that about 3% to 5% of adolescents in Hong Kong suffering from scoliosis, with increasing prevalence in recent years. The early detection of scoliosis conditions and regular check-up during the rapid growth period of adolescent school-children is thus crucial.

Currently, X-ray imaging is the clinical benchmark for scoliosis assessment. However, radiation exposure may pose an increased risk of cancer.

PolyU’s game-changing scoliosis imaging technology

According to the lead researchers, the new system is the most advanced system. It is based on the PolyU-developed 3D ultrasound imaging technology, trademarked under the name Scolioscan. This device weighs approximately 150 kg and was successfully commercialised into a clinic-based facility in 2016.

As the Scolioscan is radiation-free and more cost-effective than prevailing X-ray imaging technologies, it can facilitate mass screening and frequent follow-up monitoring.

Clinical trials have proven the novel technology is very reliable, with an accuracy of curve measurement comparable to X-ray assessment. Moreover, it can obtain an image in any postures, provide vertebra rotation and muscle-related information, and form a 3D spinal model for the three-dimensional analysis of deformity of the spine. All these cannot be achieved by X-ray imaging systems commonly used at present.

The system can also be applied to conducting prognosis and monitoring treatment outcomes for each scoliosis patient so as to establish a personalised treatment plan.

The new tech facilitates screening anywhere, anytime

Continuing to set new standards, PolyU’s research team has applied the novel technology to a portable palm-sized Scolioscan Air, which has been further developed. The device only weighs only 5 kg.

It was noted that with this innovation brings the device and mass screening service to the youngsters anywhere, anytime. It will facilitate the implementation of school-based scoliosis screening to detect and treat spinal curvatures before they become severe enough to cause chronic pain or other health issues among adolescents.

In addition, when providing non-surgical treatment for scoliosis patients, healthcare personnel can use Scolioscan Air to conduct a real-time assessment, so as to optimise the treatment outcome.”

The device consists of three hardware components:
i) a palm-sized wireless ultrasound probe with an optical marker mounted at its bottom;
ii) a depth camera; and
iii) a laptop or tablet computer with dedicated software. The compact optical marker and depth camera replace the spatial sensor used in Scolioscan and thus help dramatically downsize the device.

In addition, the technology for 3D ultrasound image reconstruction, visualisation and measurement, including a fully automatic curvature measurement method and 3D spinal deformity analysis software, developed by the team earlier can also be applied to the device.

The newly developed optical 3D spatial tracking method for Scolioscan Air achieves a high degree of accuracy, which is comparable with Scolioscan. Moreover, technological compatibility makes the smaller device readily available for commercialisation for popular use. With dramatically reduced material cost, size and weight compared with other scanning systems, Scolioscan Air can be carried within a suitcase.

The original device has been registered as a medical device in different countries since 2016, including the European Union and Australia. A total of 23 patents globally for the related technology have been awarded to or filed by, PolyU and the collaborating company. The clinic-based systems have been installed in clinics in Hong Kong, Macau, the Mainland, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, etc; and have been used for scoliosis scanning for over 4,000 patients.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

Send this to a friend