I know I shouldn’t use these images here, but I can’t resist the temptation. What can you see on the pictures?
Posts from the ‘Medical Imaging’ Category
In March, I talked a lot about Radiopaedia, a wiki dedicated to radiology. This wiki is brilliantly constructed and maintained by Dr Frank Gaillard (Radiology Department, Royal Melbourne Hospital) who started this project in December, 2005. It’s always my pleasure to inform you about the latest improvements of his wiki.
In a recent letter from Frank, he mentioned that Radiopaedia.org had finalised a sponsorship deal and is still growing rapidly to surpass the 1000 article milestone in just weeks. According to Frank:
The new site (sneak preview of the mockups that are currently being coded here) will have many improvements including:
- ability to upload stacks which can be scrolled through much as on a workstation
- users can keep track of their case libraries on line, and use them as the basis for tutorials, as well as supplementing them with other cases from the ever growing radiopaedia library
- browser based image editing, to crop and adjust image without the need for installed graphics software
- no more strange wiki-code. All editing will be WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)
- improved search capabilities
The new design and structure.
For years, I’ve been longing for a system in Wikipedia that Frank has already installed in Radiopaedia: section editors. I think it’s a good idea to make editors (credentialed professionals) responsible for specific sections or projects. These section editor positions will be coming up for renewal in late February, and applications will open a few weeks prior to that. Given the popularity of some sections, preference will be given to users who have a solid contribution history.
Believe me, Radiopaedia is the perfect example of how to create a wiki dedicated to a medical specialty, and Frank does the best job to maintain and improve it all the time. I really hope his example will be followed.
The R & D Magazine asked some researchers from around the world to choose and present the best innovations of 2007 at the forefront of technology.
The editors of R&D Magazine are proud to announce the winners of the 45th Annual R&D 100 Awards. This annual competition recognizes the best in innovation—on a global scale. Indeed, the products and technologies highlighted on the following pages are among the most innovative ideas from today’s technology powerhouses in academia, government, and industry, worldwide.
Here is my selection from the field of medicine:
- Active Protection System is a unique protective textile that instantly becomes rigid upon impact, but remains flexible and breathable when protection is not required. The System consists of a three-dimensional spacer fabric treated with a silicone coating. Versatile, durable and lightweight, it can be incorporated directly into a wide range of products to provide unprecedented levels of safety.
- The INSORB® Subcuticular Skin Stapler is designed to combine the cosmetic result of absorbable sutures with the rapid closure times associated with metal skin staplers, while eliminating the need for metal staple removal post-operatively.
- VaxDesign is an emerging biotechnology company that combines immunology with engineering to find elegant, practical solutions to complex biological problems. They develop in vitro assays of the human immune system that are functionally equivalent to the human immune system.
- The pneumothorax detector system consists of two components. A control module provides power for the circuitry and MIR sensor, and also houses a processing system to analyze incoming data and detect the presence or absence of a pneumothorax. A probe unit is connected to the main control module and an antenna for sending out the MIR pulse, and detecting the reflected signal. Novel, high speed data acquisition and processing electronics in the control module acquire the data in real time.
- ElectroNeedle™ Biomedical Sensor Array is a device that, when pressed against the skin, can make rapid diagnostic measurements in a point-of-care setting.
- Ultra-High-Resolution Mammography System (UHRMS) that equips doctors with a low-cost, high-quality alternative to digital radiography (currently the most popular mammographic technology at leading hospitals).
- Researchers don’t necessarily have to attend a meeting in person to get something out of it. Virtual conferences are a growing trend; they have recently been held on topics including nanoscale structures, animal diseases, amphibian conservation, and climate change. One of the largest such events is the Virtual Conference on Genomics and Bioinformatics (VCGB)… Attendees to VCGB gather at local nodes linked together using Access Grid, a virtual collaboration system developed at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. (Science)
Don’t hesitate to tell us if you find better ones.
I’ve recently come across a really interesting announcement, IBM Research Unveils 3-D Avatar to Help Doctors Visualize Patient Records and Improve Care. You know well how important it is to have electronic health records while constructing the basis of personalized medicine. That’s why this new software of IBM Zurich Research Lab using a 3D representation of the human body could be very useful for physicians in the future. The Anatomic and Symbolic Mapper Engine (ASME) visualizes patient medical records.
“It’s like Google Earth for the body,” said IBM Researcher Andre Elisseeff, who leads the healthcare projects at IBM’s Zurich Research Lab. “In hopes of speeding the move toward electronic healthcare records, we’ve tried to make information easily accessible for healthcare providers by combining medical data with visual representation, making it as simple as possible to interact with data that can improve patient care.”
The ASME 3-D avatar will allow doctors to “click” on the 3-D avatar of the human body–here the spine–and instantly see all the available medical history and information related to that patient’s spine, including text entries, lab results and medical images such as radiographs or MRIs. Or the doctor might be interested only in information related to a particular part of the spine; in this case, the practitioner can zoom in, narrowing the search parameters by time or other factors.
Today, I asked Andre Elisseeff at IBM Research, IBM Zurich Research Laboratory to answer some of my questions and he kindly agreed:
- Is the software in beta testing or it has already been released?
The software is still in beta testing and is not scheduled before fall next year. We are working with clinicians in Denmark who help us designing the user interaction.
- Does it work similarly to ReliefInsite.com, the virtual pain diary?
The idea is to search over the set of medical records of a single patient. By clicking on the human body, you can enter new information or search the medical history of a patient that relates to the area that was just clicked
on. The user interaction will be based on a 3D model of the human body (with different layers, capability to zoom in and out etc…). The current model shown on the pictures is rather simple compared to what is planned
for the first release.
- What about the privacy issues? How can you store medical information about a patient?
Privacy issues are solved in the back-end: the current prototype is built on top of IBM Health Information Exchange, a set of components to integrate and get the medical records of a single patient spread over different IT systems. This includes a set of flexible security rules and policies as well as a tool for e-consent. The patients can therefore decide who to show the information to.
- Can the patient add information to his own database? I mean can the patient send his symptoms to his physician?
That is a possibility that we are investigating but that is not implemented nor planned in the release because we are currently focusing on the clinicians. There is no technical barrier to what you’re suggesting (besides security rules). The user interaction is still under development and would have to be adapted so that anyone can quickly understand how to make an entry.
One of the “vision” of the project is to make the communication between patients and physicians easier by using IT. Letting a patient prepare a medical visit by adding virtual needles where it feels pain, or by highlighting the areas which do not work properly, would be great and would typically make the discussion easier with the medical professionals.
- We know well how hard it is to introduce new and technology-based tools to physicians. What about the first feedbacks?
We got overall a very positive feedback from the physicians we showed the tool to. They understand very quickly how this could help them. Many agree now that they will have to use IT. There is a pressure from society to get more accountable healthcare. That means more reporting and a more frequent usage of standards which are rather complex. A system like ASME is supposed to ease that task. It somehow makes IT more aligned with what physicians think about when they see a patient. Most current electronic medical record
systems assume the clinician works like office-workers, happy to see a web form or an excel sheet to enter data. And that’s not exactly the case… By discussing with medical professionals, they told us they would like to see
a human body. This project somehow is their project: we worked on the technology and still are working on importing what they’re telling us, but first, they tell us how they would like to access and use electronic
As a side note, the clinicians we work with are in Denmark (opinions might vary significantly from country to country).
Follow Scienceroll for more about this futuristic medical software!
- IBM/Apple to further medicine – visualization + software for clinic use (Monash medical student)
- IBM Patient Avatars (Medgadget)
- Visualization Software of IBM for the Future of Medicine: Interview! (My Software Online)
- Brain Exercise and Fitness: September Monthly Digest (Sharp Brains)
One of my favourite sites is Crooked Brains where I found these fantastic images yesterday. They write:
It’s a wonder to know such a beauty in the stone can be a problem in a kidney.
Anyway, personally I find it hard to remember all the types of kidney stones. But with these photos, it should be an easier task:
Further reading for your pleasure:
I’ve already written about Radiopaedia.org, a wiki dedicated to radiology. I still believe physicians like Frank Gaillard change medicine by making it more accessible for experts and laypeople as well. For years, I’ve been longing for a system in Wikipedia that Frank has just implemented in Radiopaedia: section editors.
I think it’s a good idea to have editors (credentialed professional) who are responsible for specific sections or projects. I know Citizendum works like that, but if we could merge the section editor idea with the power of the mass of laypeople, then we could create the ideal wiki. Here is the example of Radiopaedia:
Radiopaedia editors are appointed for a minimum of 6 months, and are responsible for not only contributing content, but also for moderating discussion and overseeing the development of their section. This is an appointment suitable for Curriculum Vitae under research / publications. If you are interested in applying or just want more information please download the following PDF (click here).
The Wellcome Trust has released its Wellcome image collection under the Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial Licence 2.0. We’ll see how
we can use it in Wikipedia. Here is a short collection of some images of the Wellness category:
It’s good to see improvements and projects like this one.
After a successful radiology exam (the only one left is pulmonology), I’ve been just surfing on PubMed and this article caught my sight:
Accidental condom inhalation.
Jaswant Rai Speciality Hospital, Meerut, India.
A 27-year-old lady presented with persistent cough, sputum and fever for the preceding six months. Inspite of trials with antibiotics and anti-tuberculosis treatment for the preceeding four months, her symptoms did not improve. A subsequent chest radiograph showed non-homogeneous collapse-consolidation of right upper lobe. Videobronchoscopy revealed an inverted bag like structure in right upper lobe bronchus and rigid bronchoscopic removal with biopsy forceps confirmed the presence of a condom. Detailed retrospective history also confirmed accidental inhalation of the condom during fellatio.
Can you imagine this?
I’m still involved in constructing the future of medical education at the Ann Myers Medical Center, but I always try to find other medical places in the virtual world. Here is a list of my favourite ones. If you happen to know more, don’t hesitate to leave a comment for us.
1. Ann Myers Medical Center: it aims to assist students to become more proficient in initial exam history and physicals; to become more proficient in the analysis of MRIs, CTs and X-rays. You can join to take part in the first medical simulation (maybe this July). TELEPORT!
2. Heart Murmurs: a great example of educational possibilities in Second Life as you can listen to cardiac murmurs. TELEPORT
3. The Gene Pool: far the best genetic educational place in Second Life. Quizes, animations and you can even wear your favourite chromosome. TELEPORT
5. Wheelies @ Second Ability: A place for people with disability. You can even try how it is like to use a wheelchair. TELEPORT
6. Medical Library at Health Info Island: you can do PubMed searches from Second Life; find people at the Medical Research Desk or at the Consumer Health Information Desk. A growing medical virtual community! TELEPORT
7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: according to the National Review of Medicine, they are one of the early adopters. They consider Second Life as an educational opportunity they just couldn’t pass up. TELEPORT
8. UC Davis’ Virtual Hallucinations: they’re not kidding. You can experience virtual hallucinations. TELEPORT
9. Hottie Hospital: Play doctors and nurses, be a patient or a cute receptionist. Gynaecology, sperm donation, sexgen therapy, medical examination… TELEPORT
10. RX Pirates: a really strange museum. TELEPORT
10+1: Play2Train: Play2Train will provide opportunities for training through interactive role playing and will be the foundation for our emergency preparedness educational machinima. Short demo scene of mass casualty incident simulation:
I hope you enjoyed this journey into the medical world of Second Life. I hope these sites and hospitals will play an important role in the future of medical education.
- Take Part in Constructing the Future of Medical Education: Join the Virtual Medical Center
- Genetics in Second Life
- Medicine in Second Life: virtual doctors, hospitals, and of course, sperm donation
- Virtual Medical Center: the Future of Medical Education