Ultrasound imaging remains the dominant tool for echocardiography, obstetrics, and gynecology. Doctors widely use it for evaluating newborns and older patients, screening for peripheral vascular diseases, and looking for abnormalities within the gall bladder, bladder, kidneys, aorta, and bile ducts. In anesthesiology, the technology aids the insertion of needles near delicate neural structures.
Although ultrasound diagnostics is a relatively older technology compared to computerized tomography (CT), magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) scans, it's come a long way. Experiments started in the late 1940s, borrowing from sonar technology used in World War II.
Ultrasound didn't become a widely accepted diagnostic tool until the early 1970s. It's now the second most used medical imaging tool, and with advanced techniques such as 3D/4D ultrasound and intracavity ultrasound making an impact, the technology should remain near the top for some time.