Natural interactions for medical image analysis

Interaction-Design Master Thesis

Posts Tagged ‘visualization


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Dicom image viewers have the ability to show scanned images with different filters applied. It helps in situations where the radiologist is interested in only some of the body parts. For example there could be a filter that shows only the bones and another filter that shows only the blood vessels. I was thinking about how to combine these different “layers” of information and came up with this concept of “viewing-lenses”. You can drag these lenses over the picture and see different layers of information.
Imagine a touch table with tangible-sheets like in the Microsoft Second Light project… or maybe is better to be able to change the shape and size of the layers. Another idea that came to my mind was combining the lenses – one that shows the bones, another that shows the blood-vessels, put them over each other to see bones and blood-vessel at the same time.

Here is a quick flash prototype to illustrate the idea:


Taking the whole idea and mixing it with my cube interface concept could also be interesting…



Written by Jannes

March 12, 2009 at 18:41

3D screen concept

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I was wondering how we could display 3D images. There is a couple of different technologies to do it.

Caveman is virtual environment that is also used to view anatomic 3D models. of course there is also projects about stereopscopic 3D viewing (with fancy 3D glasses) for radiology.


I am not sure not about these technologies. I don’t like wearing weird glasses and also whenever I used these 3D glasses it stressed my eyes a lot. The radiologist is working with device all day long and also its annoying to give glasses to everybody whenever you want to show something. The Caveman virtual environment is cool, but doesn’t fit into the all-day workflow. It uses a whole room and also you need special headsets.

Here is an idea I had about viewing 3D images (or at least 3D slices). It’s 3 screens arranged to form a corner of a cube/box. So each screen is displaying one of the 3 planes of a 3D system. The second image is mixed with my idea of augmented reality, the brain is a physical model… its position is tracked, so you could rotate and move it to change the projection in the 3 screens.


Written by Jannes

March 5, 2009 at 12:18

Virtual Colonoscopy

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Virtual Colonoscopy is a relatively new field in radiology. Colonscopy was a very unpleasant experience before, in which the physician passed a camera on a flexible tube through the anus. Today this can be done in the radiology department with a xray-scan of the colon (without penetrating the body).

This week I visited some application specialists at Philips in Best. They showed me how a virtual colonoscopy works. All data for the 3D model was acquired during a body scan of the patient. I was impressed by the visualization. It is basically a flight through the colon, but you can see in all directions at the same time. This makes it possible to look behind corners and ledges without changing the viewing direction.

Here you can see a screenshot and the cube on the right is showing all 6 viewing directions (I marked it accordingly on the screenshot of the colonoscopy).

colon endoscopy

Written by Jannes

February 6, 2009 at 16:17

Posted in Phase 01 - Research

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Anatomy Education Applications (and Illustrations)

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Anatomy illustrations are widely used in medical education and as far as I know Radiologists use them to identify diseases. Looking at medical illustrations and education practices is interesting for this project. In medical illustrations people thought about how they illustrate the human body to show specific important things they want to tell you about. In my opinion a goal of the development of medical scans is to reach the quality of medical illustrations (generated by a computer). This would probably make the work of Radiologists much easier. There is a ton of information about medical illustrations out there…  So I close the research on this topic for now.

A thought that came to my mind while looking at all the fascinating illustrations: What if medical scans would have such a high resolution that they could display individual cells or even atoms?


Medi-Mation – Medical & Scientific Visualization

Following you’ll find 3 interactive educational tools for human anatomy. They show interesting ways how to visualize the human body and also some nice interface ideas how to view it.

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Written by Jannes

January 28, 2009 at 11:10

Visualizing Time and Movement

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Body-changes over time (like muscle movement, blood flow, brain activity) could be interesting for Radiologists to see. Todays medical scanners are able to track these changes and produce high resolution 4D images. But what is an appropriate way to view and analyse this data. A 3D model in which you can modify the timeline and the viewing direction is the most simpel way to view these images. But are there other smarter solutions and how do we combine images from different scan sessions, scans that are maybe days, weeks or years apart. With upcoming electronic and linked patient records this could be possible. (I need to check if this is needed at all.)

Recreating Movement
is a diploma thesis by Martin Hilpoltsteiner at the University of Applied Sciences Wuerzburg, Germany, Communication Arts. It has some very unique ways of analyzing movement in videos. The basic idea is to extract all single frames of a movie and arrange these in different ways to make it easier to analyze movements. It also uses coloring and tracking filters to emphasize special features of the movement. In his work Martin gave some examples of analyzing sports movements, and car crash tests. I think it could also be applied to analyze medical video or 4D data.

Sports movement – Here you can see the movement of a baseball player. The background is removed so you can only see the player. In the example videos you can also see comparison of two different movements or the same movement with different filters.


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Written by Jannes

January 27, 2009 at 14:14

Visualization of medical Scans

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Today I tried to get some more information on Medical Data Visualization. There is a lot of very interesting looking visualizations out there. But as I discussed with my mentor Mine, it’s always nice to have nice looking visualizations especially for us designers, but the more important questions should be if it is helpful in any way for the Radiologists to read the data.

Researching for this post reminded me of the Bodies Exhibition I visited a while ago. I am not sure if the Bodies Exhibition can be titled as art, but I think it could be very inspiring for this project, because its displaying human bodies and its parts in a lot of different and interesting ways. Slicing the human body and extracting special organs is exactly what I found in Radiology.

1. picture shows a full human body but only the blood vessels.
2. sliced up human body
3. human skull with arteries and veins in different colors


Following you’ll find a collection of different ways to visualize medical scans:

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Written by Jannes

January 26, 2009 at 18:32

Posted in Phase 01 - Research

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