Beyond PACS/ HIS/ RIS
With the implementation of PACS [Picture Archiving and Communication System] in health-care organizations across the world, significant savings in time and money are already being realized, in all areas of managing Medical Diagnostic Imagery. PACS has been instrumental in bringing about a 'film-less' culture to these institutions. Combined with the traditional HIS/ RIS systems, more efficient and streamlined patient handling processes are becoming a reality for an ever increasing number of institutions across the globe.
It makes good sense to follow on in this tradition of health-care automation, to develop smarter tools in order to ease the burden off from health-care professionals, and to make their work place more efficient and productive. Since PACS readily provides diagnostic images in digital form, it opens up new avenues for manipulating and processing these archives for beneficial analysis.
To this end, NeuralTek has been continuously monitoring the trends in the industry, and researching innovative tools that would take health-care institutions a step further, and beyond PACS/ HIS/ RIS...
Introducing MediTONE: a new, approach to Viewing, Processing, and Analyzing Medical Imagery
MediTone can be used for providing Automated Contrast Enhancement, CAD [Computer Aided Diagnosis], Image Record Management, and modality/ anatomy specific Automated Diagnosis through Symptom Matching and Recognition. For larger health institutions that have or are in the process of implementing a PACS/ RIS system, MediTONE provides a way forward to make good use of the available digital image archives. For smaller institutions such as Medical Clinics, HMOs, etc., MediTONE provides all of this, plus a viable alternative to PACS, within a much leaner budget, and with significantly reduced infrastructure/ technology investment requisites.
Some MediTONE functionality is also available for embedding directly into OEM products/ imaging hardware such as CR/ DR, etc.
MediTONE functionality may be divided into four distinct categories:
Automated Image Contrast Enhancement
CAD [Computer Aided Diagnosis]
Image & Patient Record Management
Automated Symptom Matching/ Recognition
MediTONE site licenses may be configured to include/ exclude any one/ all of the above functionality.
MediTONE CAD [ Computer Aided Diagnosis]
MediTONE CAD can be an invaluable tool for physicians, radiologists, and radiographers alike, in detecting elusive symptoms within medical images, or for quickly marking out 'abnormal' features of an image when compared to a standard template. A closer examination of identified regions may then reveal symptoms/ diagnosis that might otherwise have taken much longer to detect. In some cases, this may even aid in an 'early diagnosis', or detecting image features that otherwise may have gone unnoticed. MediTONE CAD can be extremely useful in the study of progressive diseases/ symptoms, such as cancers and tumours. Temporal measurements may be taken over several images to analyse reduction/ growth [over time] as feedback on response to prescribed treatment. MediTONE CAD implements various features such as registration of any number of images in a variety of modes, automatic highlighting/ marking of distinguishing features, area/ volume calculations, etc.
MediTONE M2O™ [MediTONE 2nd Opinion: Automated Diagnosis]
There is too much context and judgement involved in diagnosing disease/ symptoms, and this task would always require the skills & expertise of trained Physicians and Radiologists. However, when properly trained over a representative image data set for a specific modality/ disease/ symptom, it can provide a reliable 2nd opinion re. a particular diagnosis, or act as the first-line of examination for medical diagnostic images, which could then be short listed for a detailed examination and confirmation by a human specialist.
The MediTONE M2O module is trained in two phases: first phase of the training is conducted within NeuralTek's Labs under the expert supervision of relevant medical specialists. This could be compared to 'academic' form of training. The second phase of training takes place while the system is in use at a medical facility - in this phase the system becomes accustomed to analysing real-life cases, and is trained to 'learn' from its mistakes. Of course, the more the system is utilized, the better it gets over a period of time.
MediTONE M2O needs to be focused and targeted over a specific modality, region, symptom or disease. It further needs to be trained over a number of 'representative' image samples [various age-groups, both genders, etc.], both, including, as well as excluding the symptoms that need to be 'learned'. Several of MediTONE M2O 'experts' may hence be created, each 'specializing' in a particular area of anatomy/ image modality.
MediTONE ICE [ Image Contrast Enhancement]
MediTONE provides for a novel way of viewing medical imagery: a completely automatic Colourized Contrast Enhancement of Medical Diagnostic Images such as X-rays, MRIs, CT-Scans, Ultrasound, etc. In a single operation, a set of colour enhanced versions of the original image are generated automatically; each of these may bring out some aspects, not clearly visible in the original monochromatic version. MediTONE enhanced versions may be examined alongside the original ones, providing an alternate perspective to the visualization and study of symptoms across various modalities. This feature is also ideally suited for embedding into OEM imaging hardware and systems.
MediTONE IPRM [Image/ Patient Record Management]
MediTONE's IPRM module supports a host of features such as symptom marking, highlighting and labeling, diagnosis recording, storage/ retrieval/ reporting of patient & Image data, etc. This area of functionality complements other MediTONE features, making it an indispensable tool, and providing a total solution for Medical Imaging Labs, Health Clinics, etc., as a viable and significantly less expensive alternative to implementing a full blown PACS. For larger institutions with PACS capabilities, these features provide a way of digitally 'marking' the archived images, and generating reports that may be e-mailed, printed, etc.
Summary of main product features and highlights
Automatic Colourized Contrast Enhancement of any type of Medical Diagnostic Image
Overlaying of image scans with a variety of transparency effects
CAD [Computer Aided Diagnosis]
Marking regions, labels, etc., directly onto the image
Marking and database recording of diagnosis/ symptoms
Recording, Storage, Search, Retrieval, and Reporting of Patient Information
Field-trainable 'Learning' of symptoms for Automated Diagnosis [* optional M2O module]
Scan from/ Interface to any standard digital imaging equipment
Full-featured printing, e-mailing of HTML reports (with images), and batch operations
Small foot-print [works off any Windows equipped workstation]
Extensible & Customisable - NeuralTek can enhance the product for any extra features you may require
An all-in-one product suite for the management of Medical Diagnostic Images - providing a less expensive alternative to a full blown PACS, while complementing existing/ potential PACS environments through smart visualization and analysis tools.
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