Sunday, December 11, 2011

Why Medical Imaging Software Saves Lives by Kathryn Dawson

Having effective medical imaging scans and software is a crucial part of modern medicine. Doctors rely on a whole host of complex scans in diagnosis and treatment of patients and therefore it is imperative that they can rely on the software behind the scanner technologies to provide an accurate picture of the insides of the body. Imaging software that is poor in quality will mean accurate and clear pictures will not be obtained for correct diagnosis. The software really does therefore save lives.

Most body scans rely on software to work correctly. X-rays do not traditionally require software however as they work by radiation passing through the body and projecting an image onto some special film. Other types of body scan however such as an MRI relies heavily on effective imaging software. This system works by creating a strong magnetic field around the body, and sending radio waves through it to the specific part of the body being examined. When this happens an energy is emitted from the nuclei of the atoms in that area that when interpreted by image software can be used by doctors to see if there are any abnormalities or problems. The scanner machine itself is the first part of the equation, but the software provides the language in which the data and images can be translated into for interpretation.

Without the accompanying software, a CT scan would also be obsolete. This uses radiation the same as a traditional X-ray machine but many images are taken from different angles throughout the body. When all these images are processed by software, it is possible for a radiologist to interpret the data. As with an MRI scan, the software is a vital step in using CT scans effectively and beneficially for patients.

Specialist medical software has developed quickly over the last few years, and today there are more advancements than ever helping physicians and scientists treat patients successfully. A picture archiving and communication system for example enables multiple images and scans such as MRI scans, CT scans and even X-rays to be stored together on a computer and brought to the screen at the touch of a button. By ridding themselves of film altogether, doctors can see the images even more clearly making diagnosis that much more precise. Furthermore, pacs software can compare images quickly and gives easy access to as many people as necessary - something vital when usually there is a team of specialists working together on improving the health of one patient.

Another exciting development in this field is the development of fusion software. This enables various medical images to be laid on top of one another and viewed together. Overlaying images in this way allows more information to be gleaned from the scans than otherwise would be if being viewed and analyzed separately. Furthermore, it is not just more than one image from the same type of scan that can be viewed this way, but multiple scans and images from across multiple methods of scanning.

Never before has modern medicine received so much assistance in the form of computer software. There is no doubt that without the various types of software out there, doctors would have a much harder time making any accurate diagnosis. The scans are also absolutely essential in the aftermath of a serious accident or trauma too as many health problems such as internal bleeding don't immediately present themselves with external symptoms. With scans, many of these problems would go undiagnosed which could easily result in emergency situations and even death. Medical imaging software really does save lives especially when used in addition with image fusion software and pacs medical imaging which allows scans and images to be easily compared. This helps provide even more of a clear picture of the inside of the body for analysis and diagnosis.