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Advanced Informatics in Medicine (AIM): Project brochures

The Advanced Informatics in Medicine (AIM) programme has recently released a number of brochures describing (AIM) projects carried out during the Third Framework Programme.

AIM is one area within the specific programme of RTD in "telematics systems in areas of general interes...
The Advanced Informatics in Medicine (AIM) programme has recently released a number of brochures describing (AIM) projects carried out during the Third Framework Programme.

AIM is one area within the specific programme of RTD in "telematics systems in areas of general interest". An initial exploratory phase took place in 1989-1990. During the main phase, following evaluation of 195 proposals requesting an overall Community contribution of ECU 632 million, 37 projects were retained and started in January 1992; a further 30 proposals were considered of very high quality, but could not be taken up due to budgetary constraints.

The emphasis during the period to 1994 has been on building prototypes and pilot applications. This is a first step, prior to commercial exploitation, which will test acceptance by the users and demonstrate compliance to regulations and standards.

However, part of AIM's effort is still oriented to strategic research in the innovative concepts for the next generation of products. The main domain tackled by the projects are: quality assessment; computer-assisted decision making and resource management; image analysis and communications; architecture for a common medical record; integration of telematics between the hospital departments or the primary care environment. Industrial involvement is greater than in the exploratory phase.

Brochures describing AIM projects now include:

- SAMMIE (Software Applied to Multimodal Images and Education): The main objective of the project is to provide BRAINWORKS, software for an integrated medical workstation which will assist the radiologist and neuroclinician to make better use of medical images (CT, MR, MR angiography) and time-related signals (MEG, advanced EEG, MR spectroscopy).

BRAINWORKS supports the clinician in making the diagnosis and helps in the teaching of diagnosis to students and young doctors on the basis of multimodal images, multisensor signals, a common anatomical Cartesian reference system and several types of brain models.

- EURIPACS (European Integrated Picture Archiving and Communication Systems): A Picture Archiving and Communication System, supported by a multi-media medical image database, will be integrated with all other components of a Hospital Information System (HIS), resulting in a second generation distributed PACS architecture test-bed in 1995.

Integration of PACS into a hospital environment is a prerequisite for clinically useful systems and involves the integration of all departmental systems as well as the adoption of standards and coordination with CEN TC251.

- MILORD (Multimedia Interaction with Large Object-Oriented Radiological and Clinical Databases): The project aims to design, implement and evaluate a system able to handle in an effective and homogeneous way multimedia medical records. MILORD provides an environment within which the medical staff can manage directly all the information involved in their department as well as access the information provided by external sources.

- COVIRA (Computer Vision in Radiology): The COVIRA consortium is performing research in the area of multimodal image analysis (registration and segmentation), together with results in the area of visualization, user interface, digital anatomy atlas, conformal 3D radiation therapy planning, and cerebral vessel tree recognition. Clinical validation of initial results is under way at six clinical sites in five European countries.

COVIRA has two main work areas. In the computer science area, software for image registration, segmentation, visualization, and for some specific application problems is generated by a number of partners. In the clinical validation work area, the software is integrated into the . These will exhibit specific dedicated image presentation and user interaction facilities and will have network access to local MRI, CT and in some cases further image acquisition modalities. Clinical validation will verify the envisaged increase in efficiency and quality of health care in the identified target areas (radiological diagnosis, treatment planning, conformal 3D radiation therapy, stereotactic surgery).

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