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USask researcher creates new medical imaging technology

SASKATOON – As health care has evolved, medical imaging such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds and MRIs have become increasingly important for diagnosis and treatment of patients. Through these imaging studies, health care professionals can learn how diseases are manifest to improve patient care.

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has created unprecedented new solutions that enable medical students and other health care professionals to access high-quality diagnostic images and clinical information for teaching and learning—while protecting patient confidentiality.

“The way we manage images and use them for teaching has changed,” said Dr. Brent Burbridge of the USask College of Medicine’s Medical Imaging Department.

A big reason for this has been that digital images have replaced the traditional film images that were displayed on lightboxes. Today, digital images can be accessed on laptops, tablets and smartphones.

There have been downsides to the migration from physical to digital images. First, all confidential patient information has to be removed before the images can be used to teach students and residents.  And second, there were problems with the portability and quality of the images available for teaching.

That is where Burbridge and his team come in.

They have developed software that enables images to be stored in a database with information such as patient age, gender and diagnosis. As well, information that could potentially identify the patient is removed by their software during image storage, protecting patient confidentiality.

Read more on the university's news site.

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