segunda-feira, 30 de setembro de 2013

ImaSim simulates virtual X-ray images

fonte: medicalphysicsweb

Este software parece bastante interessante. Há uma versão "trial", uma comercial e outra que é possível ser adquirida para instituições acadêmicas. Pelo que vi, há a possibilidade de realizar o download para windows e mac. Aqueles que toverem experiência com este software, por favor, compartilhem nos comentários do Post. 


Medical X-ray imaging has evolved significantly since its introduction in 1895, immediately following Roentgen's discovery of X-rays. For the first decades after its invention, only planar X-ray imaging was used. Then in 1972, Hounsfield and Cormack introduced the first X-ray CT device, for which they earned a Nobel prize. Today, CT scanners are incredibly fast and provide high quality 3D or 4D images for applications such as disease diagnosis and radiotherapy treatment planning.
A closely related technology is cone-beam CT (CBCT), which is used to acquire data over large areas in a single rotation. These devices are often encountered in radiotherapy vaults, where they serve to capture quickly the geometry-of-the-day of the patient prior to their irradiation. In this application, the purpose is not disease diagnosis, but verification of highly complex radiotherapy treatments.

Need for education

Given the importance of medical X-ray imaging for diagnostic and other medical applications, there is a necessity to teach a range of healthcare professionals aspects of this science. Engineers, medical physicists, radiologists, radiation oncologists, technologists and many more need some degree of education in the basic physics involved with imaging.
At any level, a hands-on approach coupled to classroom teaching can be beneficial to the understanding of the imaging process. Unfortunately, for most students, imaging equipment is generally prioritized for patient care, limiting the amount of time that students can spend experimenting with principles learned in the classroom and their effects on image quality. 
Furthermore, it is often difficult to vary imaging parameters in a clinical setting since the equipment has been designed and calibrated for specific purposes. There is a clear need, therefore, for a simulation environment capable of producing virtual medical X-ray images. Such a software package would serve as a useful educational tool for medical X-ray imaging.

Release of ImaSim

Now, members of the same team that developed the popular packages RadSim and SpekCalc have announced the release of ImaSim; a software package for simulating X-ray imaging procedures.
According to its creators – Frank Verhaegen and Guillaume Landry of Maastro Clinic, and Francois Deblois of the Jewish Hospital in Montreal – ImaSim is mostly intended as an educational tool for teaching or self-learning the basics of the X-ray imaging process. However, the software has also been used for research purposes in several recent scientific papers.
ImaSim is highly interactive and its utilization via a graphical user interface (GUI) is intuitive. The software package covers the main X-ray based modalities: planar kV, planar (portal) MV, fan-beam CT and CBCT imaging. The program follows a ray-tracing approach and ignores photon scatter in its current implementation, in order to reduce calculation times. A simple model for adding imaging noise is included.
ImaSim is a modular program where the user first defines the radiation source (which can be based on SpekCalc in the case of a kilovoltage X-ray source), then the object to be imaged, followed by the set-up geometry. Finally, a choice among several imaging detectors must be made. With the whole setup complete, the user then can start the image simulation process, and watch the X-ray image being created in front of their eyes. In the case of a CT scan, for example, the sinogram is created in real time. Once finalized, images can be analysed.
The makers of ImaSim hope that countless students, teachers and scientists will find the program useful in their educational or research activities. Download ImaSim here.

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