HealthBlog

Thoughts, comments, news, and reflections about healthcare IT from Microsoft's worldwide health senior director Bill Crounse, MD, on how information technology can improve healthcare delivery and services around the world.

Video Gaming Graphics Supercharge Medical Imaging

Video Gaming Graphics Supercharge Medical Imaging

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imageCombine the graphics processing power of a contemporary video game with a CT scan, MRI or other medical image; wrap it up in a commodity-priced viewer, and what have you got?  You’ve got FiatLux Imaging.

I first met up with FiatLux Imaging co-founder and CEO, Mary Frances Feider, a couple of years ago when the company was more of an idea than an actual enterprise.  The vision was to develop a commodity-priced (at least compared to other imaging solutions), flexible, interoperable viewer for medical images.  Furthermore, the goal was to take advantage of the founders’ prior engineering expertise in advanced video gaming graphics technology and bring to medical imaging the kind of experience one might more commonly associate with Halo.  Fast forward to today, and the fruits of the company’s labors have arrived full force. CT_Abd CTA__AAA_vr_color (2)

Ushering in new possibilities for high-quality, affordable 3D medical image visualization, FiatLux Visualize™,which received FDA-clearance in August, sets new standards in 3D image quality and processing speed. The software takes advantage of DirectX game programming technologies and the untapped potential of today’s video graphic cards to deliver stunning image reformations from CT and MRI scans. The same sophisticated technology that propels realistic, detailed images of rockets and aliens through space in popular games is being applied to images of the human body in healthcare.  According to Ms. Feider, FiatLux Imaging has introduced a revolutionary and much-needed new paradigm in advanced medical image processing.

IT Departments appreciate that the software runs on a standard Windowsimage machine without the need for expensive graphics cards.  It makes possible anywhere, anytime 3D image analysis on a laptop, tablet, or even one of the new ultra-mobile Windows devices. Physicians like having a solution that runs as well on a laptop as their desktop, allowing them to view and manipulate medical images at the patient’s bedside or anywhere the need arises.

According to the company, FiatLux Visualize supports a range of today’s 3D and advanced 2D image processing protocols, including MIP, MPR, and advanced volume reconstruction that is comparable to high-priced, dedicated workstations on the market today.  And they do all that for about $3000!

Ms. Feider noted that the company is growing especially in markets outside of the radiology department.  They have found that some of their biggest fans are neurosurgeons, cardiologists, and orthopedists who use the viewer to help with surgical planning, diagnosis and patient communication.  You can find out more by visiting the company’s website.

Bill Crounse, MD   Senior Director, Worldwide Health   Microsoft Corporation

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