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Problem Addressed

In current medical practice, the ultrasound probe acquisition state (position, orientation, and contact force of the probe) is manually controlled by an ultrasonographer, and therefore, the acquisition state at any given time is not repeatable at a later time, making ultrasound imaging difficult to reproduce.  This can lead to imaging variations; hence, clinicians may not be able to determine, for instance, whether a tumor has grown larger over time or the change is due to the variations in the acquisition state.  In addition, clinicians performing a biopsy must pay attention to the ultrasound probe force, the image display, and the needle in hand, so additional challenges caused by fluctuating contact force can lead to incorrect placement of the biopsy needle.  Controlling the acquisition state through real time feedback  leads to more consistent ultrasound images and safer medical procedures.