Healthcare and medical imaging systems are becoming increasingly important for diagnostic imaging, surgical planning, therapeutic procedures and other medical applications. The field of medical imaging includes a wide range of technologies including ultrasound imaging, computed tomography (CT), MRI, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The process of acquiring images is called imaging. The purpose of this article is to explain how image acquisition is accomplished with specific reference to Healthcare and Total Medical Imaging Systems.
Imaging systems typically include:
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A camera (photographic or video) which takes pictures or videos
In most cases, the camera is a light-sensitive electronic device that converts light into electrical signals. These signals are processed in an analog or digital fashion before being used to create an image.
In order to take a picture, the camera needs to perform three functions: A light sensor measures the amount of light coming through it, an electronic signal processor determines how much color information should be extracted from that light and what kind of image should be formed (e.g., a black-and-white photo), and an amplifier increases the strength of this signal so that it can travel through cable into a digital image device.
The resulting image may be displayed on a screen or printed out via an inkjet printer. Cameras may also capture moving objects such as live action video, slow motion movies and stop motion animation.
A computer that processes the images and stores them in memory
An imaging system is a computer that processes the images and stores them in memory. The size of the memory determines how many images can be stored and processed.
The imaging system is used for diagnostic purposes, such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans. These systems are also used to produce reports that are sent to doctors or other healthcare practitioners.
The most common type of imaging system is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. A MRI scanner sends radio waves into the body to generate images of various body parts. The MRIs can detect any abnormalities in tissue, including tumours, bone fractures, blood clots and infectious diseases such as cancer and AIDS.
Another type of imaging system is computed tomography (CT) scan. In these types of scans, an x-ray beam is passed through the patient’s body from all directions until it reaches an area where there are no more x-rays exiting the patient’s body at that point in time. This creates an image of all organs within the body on a computer screen or filmstrip called a CT scan or CAT scan.
Imaging systems have been around for years but have become more sophisticated over time as technology has advanced, and new applications have been discovered for them.
A processor which controls the camera
The imaging system for healthcare and medical applications is a set of hardware and software that allows a patient to access, view, record and transfer information from their health records.
The processor controls the camera and processes the signals from the camera. It also transfers data between memory and processing unit as required by an application program. The processor is typically a microprocessor chip which may include a central processing unit (CPU) or microcontroller plus various peripheral components such as flash memory, RAM, video memory, etc.
Imaging systems play a vital role in the healthcare field. Diagnostic imaging, for example, is employed for breast cancer detection to monitoring failing hearts. Surgical planning uses medical imaging to simulate surgery procedures before cutting into the patient. Therapeutic procedures are also largely dependent on imaging technology to both identify and monitor the position of internal implants and devices. All of these different uses for medical imaging systems require specific characteristics to ensure that patients get the best diagnostic results and the best care possible.