Earlier, contrast agents or more invasive modalities were used by physicians to see low-velocity micro-vascular blood flow. Toshiba’s SMI technology allows to see low-level flows without the need for contrast agents.

Rex Hospital, UNC Healthcare Vascular Center technical director Pat Washko said: "Since our team shifted to using SMI, we are experiencing image quality that is night and day from other technologies.

"Rex Healthcare is now able to perform more comprehensive exams with the two different color modes, especially for identifying incidental findings to differentiate between solid and cystic masses. It is the right technology for our expanding vascular capabilities."

The technology, which has been designed to improve clinician confidence, will allow clinicians to perform high-end, non-invasive vascular exams looking at carotid arteries, visceral and renal organs.

With the use of SMI, clinicians can make exams safer and faster while improving the patient’s overall experience.

Toshiba Ultrasound Business Unit director Tomohiro Hasegawa said: "Toshiba understands what it takes to push ultrasound to the next level.

"With the development of SMI, clinicians can use ultrasound to see smaller vessels in and around areas like tumors and lymph nodes, giving way to faster, non-invasive disease diagnosis for improved care."