Software-Defined Imaging's Impact on the Future Medical Industry

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Revolutionizing Medical Technology with Software-Defined Imaging 

IEEE Xplore has surveyed software-defined imaging to explore this concept and how it will impact technology trends in the future medical industry. Several ongoing discussions between thought leaders have examined replacing conventional hardware components in imaging systems with software for enhanced reconfigurability. Such a replacement process is called software-defined imaging (SDI). It should allow users to program the image sensor in a way best suited to the end application. According to IEEE Xplore, the scope of SDI covers imaging systems for single-image capture, multi-image, burst photography, and video.   

The Future of Healthcare: Embracing a New Era of Adaptability

One of the benefits mentioned for SDI is the capability to create more flexible and adaptable imaging systems that one can customize to meet the specific needs of different applications. An example of this is LumaVision's work. They shared that when observing many cardiac surgeries, they noticed every second patient came back twice or three or four times before reaching successful treatments. Their Co-Founder, Dr. Christoph Hennersperger, investigated the problem and realized that imaging and navigation – to see and know where you want to go in the heart - was the bottleneck. LumaVision discovered that in surgeries for heart rhythm disorders, doctors insert a small tube through a small cut in the groin and navigate it up to the heart. They then perform ablation, crossing over into the left side of the heart to treat the problem. The issue is that doctors don't have a clear visual of what they're doing, making the procedure more complex and ineffective. And that's where technology like software-defined imaging can help.   

LumaVision thus built an end-to-end imaging system with the help of KDAB - a renowned software consultancy and development company specializing in Qt. The imaging system is very flexible and fully software-defined to adapt to where the market goes and to the clinical needs. LumaVision recognized that Qt is an industry-standard for C++ GUI applications, and most importantly, Qt has rich examples of use cases in the medical industry. Additionally, with Qt's cross-platform capability providing easy customization across devices, LumaVision gained a massive benefit through being able to deploy their built-in testing also on Windows or Linux. LumaVision's goal with their imaging system is to provide a product that gives light in the heart, giving doctors a view within the heart, an understanding of where they are, and guidance on where they need to go instead of performing a black box procedure like previously.    

Software-Defined Imaging: Customizable Solutions for Medical Imaging Systems 

SDI enables higher innovative capabilities for developing new imaging modalities and techniques; for instance, the IEEE Xplore's survey paper mentioned that SDI could create imaging systems that can capture images at higher resolutions and frame rates or in new spectral bands. One key idea behind SDI is that it embraces continuous improvement through software updates. SDI leans towards the software-first era, which aims to reduce the need for and dependency on expensive hardware components. Users can be more involved by being enabled to reprogram the image sensor. Their need will be more of a drive for SDI to create imaging systems, which will be continuously updated and improved over time.     

SDI can revolutionize the field of medical technology. To explore this topic further, watch this full talk delivered by LumaVision and KDAB.




💡 Interested in learning more about this topic? Check out: 

Medical Device UI Design & Healthcare Software Development


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