"Recently, there has been an emphasis on mobility and ease of access," she said.
For example, some companies are producing wireless transducers with smaller, higher-quality screens.
Kristin Byrne, chief of breast imaging at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
A person who uses ultrasound scanners to diagnose medical problems is known as an ultrasound technician or diagnostic medical sonographer.
The technique is believed to be safe, but there are limits on the amount of energy that can be used.
4D ultrasound is similar to 3D ultrasound, except it produces 3D images in real time.
Another new development is sonoelastography, which uses a typical ultrasound machine to measure tissue stiffness.
By giving physicians the ability to see stiffer and softer areas inside of the tissue, sonoelastography will help doctors gauge liver fibrosis, monitor thyroid nodules, lymph nodes and indeterminate breast lumps, and detect prostate cancer, none of which can be done with conventional ultrasound, Byrne said.
At weeks six to seven, ultrasound can detect a fetal heartbeat and find out if it's a multiple pregnancy (i.e., twins, triplets, etc.).
At weeks eight to nine, arm and leg buds may be visible. At weeks 19 to 21, parents can find out the baby's gender.