What is Medical Image Processing?
Processing of medical images, that is, the study of patient data in three-dimensional images is a promising area of clinical medicine. The relevance of the issue contributes to the active development of the market segment: the created software products suggest working with MRI, CT data, and images of other clinical studies.
The possibilities of applications are wide, up to the creation of models with implants. These programs make it possible to plan surgical operations and evaluate the effectiveness of the installation and use of implant structures. Read more about medical image processing below.
What is medical image processing?
Processing of medical images is a complex study and analysis of the totality of data displayed on three-dimensional images of the human body. As a rule, we are talking about images obtained as a result of CT or MRI: examinations are carried out to diagnose diseases and pathologies, to study in detail the state of organs/tissues, and draw up a guideline before the upcoming surgical operation, and finally, to examine the clinical case for further study.
Radiologists, engineers, and clinicians are engaged in the processing of medical images, highlighting and grouping the signs of the anatomy of patients with selected diseases or population groups.
Read also: Recommendation Systems in Healthcare
What are the benefits of medical image processing?
Medical imaging has a number of advantages:
- the study of human anatomy is carried out in-depth and in detail, while there is no need to use invasive methods;
- on the basis of the obtained data, three-dimensional models of anatomical structures are created, which are an object of interest, and these models are further studied in order to improve the results of patient treatment, optimize the diagnosis process, improve existing medical devices and the mechanism for delivering drugs to the focus of pathology;
- processing of medical images, coupled with continuous improvement in image quality, provides accurate digital reproduction of tissues and organs. Knowing the exact geometry, measurements, and statistical analysis data, it is possible to deeply and accurately understand how the patient's anatomy is affected by medical devices.
The results of medical image processing are indispensable for planning surgical procedures. The evaluation of the functioning of implants is of great importance for the further development of implantology.
How does medical image processing work?
First, the raw CT or MRI image data is converted into a format that is compatible with the corresponding software solution. The 3D raster image displays structures of excellent density due to the gray color of different intensities. A grid of voxels (3D pixels) provides the basis for image processing. The volume of absorbed X-ray particles in CT images is displayed in varying degrees of gray. In MRI images, the degree of gray coloration is directly related to the strength of signals from proton particles at rest and after exposure to a strong magnetic field.
Medical imaging involves segmentation and editing of various structures that may be of interest to medical users from an anatomical point of view. What operations are available in typical processing software?
- The ability to suppress and eliminate noise, and artifacts through special filters.
- Ability to crop, and resample input data, which simplifies and makes image processing faster.
- Use of segmentation tools: this enables to identify different anatomical structures. The work of automated methods is based on Machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms.
- Measurement and statistics tools to evaluate the quantitative parameters of structures, tissues, and organs.
- Importing CAD models (implants or medical devices) allows you to study their interaction with anatomical structures.
- Processed models can be exported for reproduction and simulation, design, or 3D printing to explore the physical pattern of the anatomical structure in detail.
Case Study: Radiolance
Radiolance is a professional platform for interaction with radiologists. With Radiolance, diagnostic facilities are provided with professional analysis and descriptions of magnetic resonance imaging, CT scans, X-rays and mammograms. The product is bringing state-of-the-art technology into the treatment process through improving the healthcare system's quality of services and working conditions, regardless of the geographical distance between the patient and doctor.
Based on the client’s business requirements, the SDH team developed for Radiolance a comprehensive AI-powered platform consisting of a web application for diagnostic centres and native mobile applications (iOS and Android) for radiologists. The platform facilitates access to qualified radiologists in a digital database, enabling them to obtain official professional medical reports quickly. Radiologists can earn money by remotely describing magnetic resonance imaging, CT scans, X-rays and mammography results for medical facilities across the country.
SDH developed a virtual radiological back-office that performs quality control and claims processing functions that includes AI-powered medical image processing. The SDH team also implemented various modules for sophisticated and secure work: training, digital signature, reporting, and PACS. All these functions are easy to use, thanks to an intuitive interface.
SDH develops software products for the healthcare industry. Our team is ready to create a medical imaging solution that will have relevant options for working with images — export, combining implants, creating volumetric meshes, converting data into convenient formats, etc. Support for innovative technologies in software development and a flexible approach to the workflow allows you to make a really useful and up-to-date solution.