System detects tissue changes
Digitally altered Denver suburb
Although these two images of a Denver suburb look virtually identical when compared side by side, some details have been digitally altered for illustration. Although most people can spot the lake and building missing from one photo (middle left), the Change Detection System (CDS) program immediately reveals that a swimming pool (lower right neighborhood) and a dirt track (upper right field) are also absent from one of the images. The large photo below has graphic highlights in yellow to emphasize the changes that CDS software makes visible. (Photo by Space Imaging®, Digital Airborne Imaging System)
Mammograms, X-rays and other pricey medical scans do little good if doctors cant see the tiny changes that signal early stages of disease. But such warning signs are often too subtle to spot by eye, and too complex for computers to interpret. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energys Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory have developed the Change Detection System, technology that highlights slight differences between digital images. In fact, lead researcher Greg Lancaster convinced doctors of the programs power when he used it to compare scans of his own brain after hed had a tumor removed. One medical technology firm is already looking to license the program.
This medical advance is a direct result of applying national security technology, which was initiated through funding from the DOEs Applied Technology Program. The CDS software is so quick, easy and affordable that it now boasts a spot among the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the past year. R&D Magazine editors notified the winners in July and will feature the winning products in the September issue.
Nicole Stricker | EurekAlert!
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