NASA software could aid interpretation of medical imagery

October 15th, 2010 - 5:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 15 (ANI): Researchers at the Yale University in New Haven, have said that NASA software used to enhance Earth science imagery could help interpret medical imagery.

“The use of this computer-based technology could minimize human error that occurs when evaluating radiologic films and might allow for earlier detection of abnormalities within the tissues being imaged,” said Dr. Thomas Rutherford.

MED-SEG is a software device that receives medical images and data from various medical imaging sources. Images and data can be stored, communicated, processed and displayed within the system or across computer networks at distributed locations.

The core of Bartron’s MED-SEG system is a computer algorithm, developed by computer engineer James C. Tilton. His goal was to advance a totally new approach for analyzing digital images, which are made up of thousands of pixels. Like a single piece of a jigsaw puzzle, a pixel often does not provide enough information about where it fits in the overall scene.

To overcome the deficiency, Tilton focused on an approach called image segmentation, which organizes and groups an image’s pixels together at different levels of detail. Tilton’s approach to image segmentation is different than others. It finds region objects, and also groups spatially separated region objects together into region classes.

For example, an Earth satellite image may contain several lakes of different depths. Deep lakes appear dark blue, and shallow lakes are a lighter shade of blue. The software first finds each individual lake; then it groups together all shallow lakes into one class and the deeper lakes into another.

“Trained professionals can use the MED-SEG system to separate two-dimensional images into digitally related sections or regions that, after colorization, can be individually labeled by the user,” explained Fitz Walker, president and CEO of Bartron Medical Imaging.

“The MED-SEG processes the image allowing a doctor to see a lot more detail in a more quantitative way. This new software could save patients a lot of money by reducing the number of costly and unnecessary tests,” said Dr. Molly Brewer, a professor with the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. (ANI)

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