Medical Imaging Lecture

The first Hounsfield Memorial Lecture was given Thursday 10
February 2005 at 17.30 by Professor Robert S. Balaban, Scientific Director,
National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute National Institutes of Health, USA.

I attended following the course on Computer Vision I did at Imperial last
term.

“Imaging: An Interface between Physiology and Medicine”
covered imaging techniques allowing noninvasive viewing of internal organs and
processes. Particular attention was paid to X-Rays from infrared, CT, MRI CT-
PET tumour detection, and CT-MRI. One practical illustration
was a trial run in a local hospital in the US where they used these imaging
techniques to detect whether those with chest pains in the ER have a real heart
problem or not. This is a big improvment on the current system of sitting
patients in a room and monitoring them until something goes really wrong.

Dr. Balaban also talked about image-guided robotic surgery.
MRI as the eyes of robotic surgery with a surgeon not in the room. With these
techniques the surgeon can not only see what is happening on the surface but
also in the internal organs underneath where he is operating.

Motion is the big problem for these realtime views of the insides of living
creatures – Dr. Balaban illustrated showing us a great band of movement that
ruined his pictures of cells in a muscle, then revealing that the muscle was in
the leg and the movement came just from respiration.

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