Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Edge Detection Rule(r)s!!
I haven’t posted much in the way of pure PACS lately, in my quest to be a politician and policy maker (or breaker as the case may be). My good ideas seem to be coming less and less frequently; must be old age, or stress, or some combination thereof.
Finally, my rusty steel trap of a mind has come up with something new. Well, it really isn't new, but it is a simplified and useful twist on an old concept.
Edge-detection is a well-known mathematical procedure, useful in the detection of abnormalities on mammograms, and nodules on CT's. There are a number of Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs out there that sniff out badness on these exams and do all sorts of measurements allowing for followup.
My idea is much simpler, and applicable to the everyday PACS world. In fact, it occured to me whilst measuring innumerable lung nodules on a cancer patient. It is a true pain to draw in short and long axes, especially when the nodule is in the subcentimeter range (and even more so when your non-averaGE PACS won't let you show more than one pair of measurements on the screen.) So, let's create an edge-detection-based ruler! As in the rather primitive mock-up above, the user draws a circle or ellipse around the nodule in question, and tightens up its radius to a reasonable level. The computer then takes over, detecting the edge of the nodule, finding long and short axes, and even giving average density, total area, etc. Yes, this could be expanded into 3D, seeking the nodule in the slices above and below, but that adds so much complexity, it probably isn't worth it. All I want is my measurements done for me without tedious submillimeter movements of the mouse. The Dalai Edge Detection Ruler would do the trick.
OK, which PACS company is going to make this happen? I'll take 50% royalties, thank you. Uh, how about 30%? 20%? Oh well, just put this in action and I'll be happy!