Medical Imaging systems such as X-Ray, CT, MRI and Ultrasounds are used to generate visual representations of the interior of a patient’s body, for clinical analysis and determination of medical interventions for complex ailments. These medical imaging systems provide 2D visual representations of the human anatomy.
In medical imaging, the more detailed and nuanced the images provided are, the easier it is for the medical specialist to determine and implement the best course of action for a patient’s treatment. Good imaging can help clinicians spot the earliest signs of an emerging medical condition – and early detection is often crucial.
Combination of these 2D Images into 3D medical images produces studies that are faster and easier to read, enabling better communication between radiologists, referring physicians and their patients.
Typical CT and MRI scans produce hundreds of images at a time that need to be painstakingly reviewed. Referring physicians and radiologists must ensure all angles and images are accounted for, and that every cross-section image is analysed before any decision is made.
3D medical imaging allows for stacking and combination of these 2D slices into an accurate 3D visual representation. This 3D view allows for a quicker assessment, and with less chance of human error.
Theoretically, we all share major anatomical features. However, we all have differences that can be important in surgical situations. It is hard to guarantee what you will find until you open someone up. Picture a situation where a surgeon has a complete understanding of a patient’s anatomy before they step into the operating room.
Up until recently, surgeons have had to adopt fast-paced problem-solving skills to work out a patient’s problem based on what they know from looking at 2D medical images. 3D imaging provides surgeons an accurate picture of the patient’s anatomy, significantly increasing their understanding and allowing them to strategize on a solution, all before picking up the scalpel.
Due to the unique nature of each patient’s anatomy and ailment, the use of generic anatomical models for surgical planning is not always ideal. 3D Medical Imaging and 3D Printing go hand in hand, as 3D printing technology allows for production of unique models in a cost-effective manner. Normal manufacturing methods only make sense for production at scale. For one-off production cases, 3D printing is uniquely ideal.
Use cases include development of patient-specific anatomical models, production of custom-fit prosthetics & implants, and development of custom medical models for improved training and education of medical professionals.
Medical expertise is distributed all over the world. Specialists are rarely found in one medical facility. For complex cases, collaboration between multiple specialists and multi-disciplinary teams are required in order to determine the best solution for a patient’s ailment.
In such situation, the sharing of information and analysis between all involved is not ideal. 3D imaging provides a solution, whereby members across the team can share information confidently, and ensure all have the necessary information. This can increase the speed of decision-making and cut down the need of a patient being transported from one facility to another.
3D Medical Imaging provides significant benefits to both physicians and patients. A number of different software have been developed for medical professionals with applications ranging from enhanced diagnostic tools to design and development of bespoke medical implants.
At Marceda, we have developed our own 3D Medical Imaging Software, Visual Anatomy, focused on converting 2D CT Scan Images to 3D computer models of body tissue. These models can be used for speedy analysis of patient scans, on a physician’s personal or office computer. The software is cost-effective, relative to industry pricing. Development of 3D imaging software for MRI Images is underway.