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Software Applied to Multimodal Images & Education

Objective

The purpose of the project is to provide software for an integrated medical workstation - BRAINWORKS - to assist radiologists and neuroclinicians to make better use of medical images (CT, MR, MR Angiography) and also time related signals (EEG, MEG, MR spectroscopy).
Besides assisting in diagnosis it will also aid in teaching diagnosis to students and young doctors.
BRAINWORK is a software system developed by the Advanced Informatics in Medicine (AIM) consortium software applied to multimodal images and education (SAMMIE). It provides an environment in which radiologists and neuroclinicians can examine brain images from different modalities together with time related signals and brain models and atlases. 3 consecutive versions provide the digital lightbox; the visual workbench, with facilities extended to volumes; and the advanced visual workbench, capable of accessing individual brain objects. The overall system architecture is in place allowing for integration of modules developed by consortium members. The geometric, statistical and symbolic models have been defined and are being populated. Visualization and editing modules for 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional and signal data are fully advanced. Work is in progress on extracting brain objects by segmentation. Parallelization of time critical modules and the use of modern database techniques will ensure acceptable speed and ease of access.
Technical Approach

The software will incorporate knowledge of anatomy derived from atlases, expressed both in geometric numeric form and in symbolic form, and will use knowledge-based methods for achieving recognition of objects in the images with respect to the atlas information. Images of EEG signal location, and MEG (magnetoencephalograph) signal location will also be included. Parallelisation of algorithms will be examined and implemented for speeding up the processing. Integration of the system will include storage and retrieval of the images and other patient related information in a multimedia record.

BRAINWORKS will be developed in three stages of increasing complexity:

BRAINWORKS I: The digital light box will contain functions for
- image input, display, manipulation, annotation (graphical and textual), storage and retrieval, plus an
- anatomical reference system with a display tool.

BRAINWORKS II: The visual workbench will contain functions for
- matching modalities: registration between image slices and slices of the anatomical reference system, and
- interslice registration, display of arbitrary slices, surface display.

BRAINWORKS III: The advanced visual workbench will contain tools for
- editing new anatomical objects and partitions of objects,
- delineation and measurement of anatomical objects: manually or (semi) automatically, and
- surface display of objects

Besides the above practical implementation of BRAINWORKS an exploration of new promising technologies will be performed such as:
- new low and intermediate level image processing routines in particular for image matching and segmentation
- parallelisation of key algorithms to enhance the performance and achieve realistic speed in a clinical context
- recent brain imaging techniques such as MEG, advanced EEG and MRI Angiography.

Key Issues

The key issues are the software development of modules and the integration of these modules into BRAINWORKS, a system used by the clinician and young doctor to aid him in making diagnosis and illustrate brain anatomy when studying how to make diagnosis.

Relationship to Previous Work

SAMMIE as a system integration project builds on the previous work of each partner in the areas of brain models, evoked potentials and MEG, graphical user interfaces and databases and parallelisation techniques.

Expected Impact

The main objectives of SAMMIE during the second year is to complete and amend BRAINWORKS I during clinical testing and to come up with BRAINWORKS II, the Visual Workbench.

Relationship to Other Projects and Actions

Project Line, AIM Concertation Meetings, Concerted Actions. SAMMIE is an active member of the project line AMICI on Medical Imaging, Multimedia and Communication to which the projects COVIRA, EURIPACS, HELIOS and MILORD belong to.

As indicated by the E in the project acronym SAMMIE the project is
- besides its emphasis on computer assisted diagnostics - also concerned with education, meaning the provision of illustrative material such as an atlas to support the training of young health care professionals in making a diagnosis.
SAMMIE takes part as an advisory member of the AIM Concerted Action in Education and Training. The experiences of the consortium with BRAINWORKS for medical education will be made available to the Concerted Action as much as the ongoing activities in the Concerted Action will help the consortium and the project to be up to the developments in that field in Europe and to participate in actions taken to promote knowledge and better tools in that field.

Testbed Sites and Verification

In addition viability testing of BRAINWORKS will be performed in the consortium (in-house evaluation) and with funds available outside the consortium (field evaluation) to assess the usefulness of the product and guide amendments during the project.

Coordinator

Bull AG
Address
Max-planck-straße 17
40699 Erkrath
Germany

Participants (2)

UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
United Kingdom
Address
Edgbaston
B15 2TT Birmingham
University Hospital Psychiatry Düsseldorf
Germany
Address
Bergische Landstraße 2
4000 Düsseldorf