The world as we know it is transforming at lightning speed. Technology is making our lives more comfortable and more accessible. The one field innovation is really affecting a change in healthcare. Thanks to engineering inventions in radiology, the future of medical imaging is shining brighter. In here, are discussed three critical sectors that have been revolutionised:
- Improving the processing speed of image diagnosis
- Getting images anywhere and at the precise time
- Creating better images with 3D
The three aspects are making diagnosis more precise, convenient, cheaper and faster. The developments are seen akin to the way healthcare management systems altered the life of hospitals and clinics. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the innovations.
- Processing Speed
Researchers and companies have been continuously working on procedures that make the processing speed of diagnostic images faster. The pace is essential to generate top-quality pictures. To understand the concept better, think of gaming software. If it is loaded on a system that has higher power and faster processing speed, the gaming experience is better for the individual. Image diagnostic programs are similar; a quicker processing unit can reconstruct images in a matter of a few minutes.
The latest technology in the field is known as a graphical processing unit (GPUs). These are higher models of CPUs that can perform the same functions using algorithms but in less than half the time. While a CPU might take almost half an hour to construct a medical image, a GPU can render it in just 6 minutes. The higher velocity not only ensures that the photos are better but also offers a distinct advantage – the speed with which the work happens increases. The throughput of a medical imaging centre improves, and therefore the return on investment is higher.
- At the Right Place
An excellent endoscopy image capture software that works at the speed of light to provide the best pictures is of no practicality if it cannot be used at the right time. Therefore, the second invention that is altering the very firmament of radiology is point-of-care imaging solutions. Such technology is extremely practical when patients cannot be transported from one location to another due to high-risk. For example, a patient is in the neurosciences critical care unit. He or she cannot be taken to a CT scanning unit without the chance of a complication occurring.
Now, what if a superior-quality imaging device could be brought into the intensive unit? Wouldn’t that be more helpful? This is what point-of-care medical imaging technology does. It enables capturing of images at the right place and right when physicians need it. Surgeons can also employ it by including the gadget in an operating theatre. Such machines can be used in tandem with traditional radiology systems and departments to make critical care better, efficient and economical.
The small medical imaging systems can be utilised even in cramped and small rooms of a hospital to offer improved patient care and experience. The comfort of the patient becomes a priority with such innovations.
- 3D Parameters
Any person who has experimented with 3D in any field of life knows that it is a marked improvement on 2D. Medical imaging is no different. Using 3D (and in the future 4D) technologies have drastically modified images and thus diagnostic. A simple example of how application of 3D imaging betters the healthcare is the difference seen in soft tissue. When compared with conventional CT pictures, the soft tissue is in higher contrast in 3D images. Plus, metal artefacts that may be inside a body have lower visibility.
Another marked improvement over 2D imaging is seen in orthopaedics. Using 3D solutions sports medicine practitioners can capture weight-bearing images. Such pictures prove vital for analysis. When combined with point-of-care technology, on the spot pictures can be taken furthering the care given to the sportsperson. Two more breakthroughs that are being researched in this arena are:
- Correcting for movement made by the patient
- Creating 3D images of any area of the body and not being limited to extremities.
A Brighter Horizon
While these three pioneering concepts will no doubt modify the very thread of medical imaging, there are more developments taking place. Scientists and engineers are working towards presenting doctors and surgeons with 3D models. Instead of using 3D images to assess the anatomy and its conditions, they will be able to touch and feel 3D visualisations. Imagine the benefits; a surgeon can have by touching a replica of an organ before performing an operation on it.
The real objective for the horizon is to reach the next dimension, i.e., 4d. Incorporating a new dimension to images like matrix array technology is the milestone healthcare companies have set for themselves. The horizon is definitely shining brightly in the world of medical imaging. The prospects of the domain are going to be completely different in just a few short years.