Siemens is using Nvidia’s CUDA graphics technology to create three-dimensional ultrasounds of babies in utero and other medical applications.

It takes advantage of CUDA, which is a programming environment which makes use of the computing power of a graphics chip for non-graphics purposes. With CUDA, Siemens can take the images and view them in stereoscopic 3-D. It can take images of a heart beating so that doctors can figure out if there is an abnormality in how the heart beats.

One application is Amnioscopic rendering, which puts sends non-invasive ultrasound waves into a woman’s uterus to get an image of what a fetus looks like. It creates realistic pictures of babies inside the womb. Physicians can use it to see how a baby is doing in much better visual detail than a 2-D ultrasound can deliver. Overall, this helps cut down on costs for physicians, delivering better information in real-time, said Roee Lazebnik, director of product development for radiology and ob/gyn at Siemens Health Care.

The 3-D ultrasound technology is part of a bunch of CUDA applications that Nvidia is showing off today at an event in San Francisco. The Siemens technology will launch in May. The company will set it for about $5,000. To use it, doctors’ offices would need 3-D monitors (which are fairly cheap these days), 3-D emitter systems and glasses — all of which are fairly cheap compared to the $120,000 cost of 2-D ultrasound systems they already have. And the picture you can get, which is viewable via 3-D glasses, is far more detailed.

Check out our video with Lazebnik below.

Siemens shows off 3-D ultrasound technology from Dean Takahashi on Vimeo.