The Increasing Role of Technology in Medical Imaging

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Medical imaging helps save millions of lives every year. Various complex, life-threatening health issues, ranging from cardiovascular to cancer and stroke, can be identified and diagnosed with medical imaging. Thus, the area of medical imaging has seen regular improvements that have helped it improve over time, becoming better with each passing day.

In this blog, we will look at five advanced technologies poised to bring a major change in this field and how they will change medical imaging forever.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the industry by storm. In the medical imaging market, AI is estimated to reach a value of USD 1579 million from 2021 to 2028. There are various benefits that AI will bring to this sector.

Firstly, AI will help reduce the time spent in various processes like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and body CT scans. This will be possible as AI will help the technicians in multiple activities. It will guide them on aligning the machines and the correct settings to be done based on the patient. Physicians will be able to carry out more tests per day with AI, increasing productivity and efficiency.

Secondly, AI will also help with report processing by reducing the time involved. It will scan the images faster with high precision compared to humans and highlight any necessary information for the doctor to review. This will help with better diagnosis and help provide better and personalised treatments.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is already being used in many sectors in the healthcare industry. In medical imaging, AR can enable three-dimensional imaging. This will help professionals get a better visualisation of the patient’s anatomy. They can, therefore, carry out a better diagnosis.

Additionally, AR can also be helpful during surgeries as well. The radiology images can be scanned and attached to an AR headset. The surgeon can wear these headsets while performing surgery. Currently, surgeons have to stop the surgery from looking at screens and relying on 2D images to operate on 3D anatomical structures. AR helps mitigate these issues, improving surgery time and functionality.

Virtual Reality

Like AR, virtual reality (VR), too, is transforming the healthcare sector. VR headsets can help convert 2D images of MRIs and CT scans into 3D ones. Doctors can then analyze them in a much better way with VR headsets. This provides for far better visualisation, even than AR. Thus, surgeons can better prepare for surgeries, knowing exactly where the issue lies and how to perform the surgery most effectively.

AR and VR both have the potential to transform medical imaging. They will replace the 2D images currently produced and used in various imaging techniques and provide a more realistic, 3D environment for better analysis, diagnosis, and treatment.

3D Printing

Doctors generally have to explain to the patients about the reports and procedures needed before or during surgery. Explaining complex medical procedures to the ordinary person can sometimes get tricky. It can add to the confusion or fear that people generally experience before undergoing such procedures.

But, with 3D printing, the task gets simplified significantly. 3D printed models can prove very useful for patient education. For example, 3D printed organs can help doctors better explain the position of a tumour and how the surgery will be performed. Similarly, surgeons, too, are better prepared for the surgeries, thanks to 3D printed models.

CT scan

Nuclear Imaging

It is a method used to produce imaging scans by detecting radiation in various body parts. In this method, radioactive materials called radiotracers are injected into a vein or given through the mouth. This is done before undergoing an imaging scan. Next, during the scan, a camera is focused on where the particles have concentrated. This helps generate digital images, which can help assess how well an organ is functioning.

Nuclear imaging can help diagnose various diseases like cancer, gall bladder diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease. The significant difference between this method and other radiological tests is that this method is used to assess the organ’s functioning, while others evaluate how the organs look. This leads to better diagnosis and treatment when compared with other medical imaging methods.

The future is exciting for medical imaging, with various technologies poised to transform this sector altogether. Other related technologies like IoT, wearable tech, and cybersecurity, too, can help bring a change in an industry that needs to improve over time. Real-time patient monitoring, improved patient care, and privacy will be on top with the adoption of these technologies. What the future holds for this industry is unknown, but the prospects are something to look forward to.

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