What is it about?
Ultrasound tongue imaging of speech requires the imaging probe to remain stable throughout data collection. Previous solutions to this stabilization problem have often been too cumbersome and/or expensive for wide-spread use. Our solution improves upon previous designs in both functionality and comfort, while also representing the first free and open-source 3D printable headset for both academic and clinical applications of ultrasound tongue imaging.
Why is it important?
The global thrust toward open source, open data, and open access in science, along with technological advancement of 3D printing technology, have inspired our construction of a freely accessible, functional, and comfortable solution for both academics and clinicians who work with ultrasound. For speech researchers, the non-metallic design also permits the simultaneous collection of ultrasound and electromagnetic articulometry. For clinicians, the headset eliminates the need for holding the imaging probe manually, allowing them to interact with patients in an unencumbered way.
This article promotes aspects of science that are important to me on a personal level. Firstly, it is interdisciplinary and collaborative, representing the cumulative effort of international researchers at five different institutions. Secondly, it is an open-source design that is published in an open-access venue, which I hope will encourage both the use of the headset in the present and further development of its design in the future.
Derrick, D., Carignan, C., Chen, W.-R., Shujau, M., & Best, C. (2018). "Three-dimensional printable ultrasound transducer stabilization system." Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, 144(5), EL392–EL398, DOI: 10.1121/1.5066350.