Natural interactions for medical image analysis

Interaction-Design Master Thesis

week 3 summary – “Phase 02 – Ideation” directions

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I had the chance to speak to radiology-professionals for the first time last week. I analyzed their workflow and collected their thoughts and ideas. I tried to combine this with my research from the past 2 weeks. I pointed out problems in the work of radiologists and trends of radiology. This lead to 4 general topics I’d like base my ideation upon. I am going to use these directions for first brainstorm sessions at the Philips Design Department this week.

“Phase 02 – Ideation” directions:

1. Data Explosion
Technology is changing fast. New ways for scanning bodies are developed. Different technologies are combined (multi-modality) to get an even more detailed pictures of the body. A brain-scan can have up to 20000 pictures. Also patient history becomes easier accessible, scans from the past can be included in the analysis.
This is a lot of data to view for the radiologist, there is a need for specialized tools to be able to see what is important in all this data. data-visualizations should be an important part of these tools. radiologists are not dependent on viewing 2D slices anymore.

2. Comparing Cases (connected data in a Healthcare 2.0 world)
Nowadays radiologists use physical books, medical atlases to compare the body scans with examples of known diseases. But the trend goes to digital data, there are more possibilities for visualizing and comparing diseases than with a book. Patient history and information becomes easily accessible and can be incorporated into the diagnosis. Radiologists also like to collect their own special cases for future references. PACS is already the first step to centralize these collections and patient data, what is the next step?

3. Reporting for who?
Reports are normally generated automatically according to the protocol. But who views these reports? Different specialists need different information. New technology delivers more options of showing information (e.g. video and 3D). In the healthcare network of the future even patients could be able to access their own scans, but they don’t know how to read this information. A big advantage of the connected world is the ease of sharing knowledge, the system should be designed for this.

4.  Prognosis in the Radiology Department
Today a radiologist has about 3-5 minutes to view and analyze a case and make a diagnosis. Officially its not his/her job to make a prognosis (e.g. propose what treatment is needed). But fast developing technologies in the radiology field would make prognosis possible in the radiology department. And there is already a gray area: radiologists and surgeons work together to analyze images and decide on a treatment. Is this the radiology of the future – high specialized physicians working together to create a prognosis, maybe even in the radiology reading room? how should a reading room be designed to accomplish a seamless workflow for the individual specialists? what is the role of CAD and teleradiology in making prognosises?

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Written by Jannes

February 9, 2009 at 10:50

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