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3D Medical Scanning Machines September 16, 2011

Posted by carlosgreat in Uncategorized.
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Images of scan results will help to undertand Dr's theories

Images of scan results will help to undertand Dr's theories

“Is it in 3D?” is often the reply when someone is asked to the movies. “Woo! Nice new TV!  Is it 3D capable?” people ask when they come to our homes and see a big screen TV.  Our society is surrounded by enjoyable and most of the time efficient technology.  Electronic gadgets and home equipment have to be enhanced with 3D capability in order to be considered part of our shopping list.  Visits to our doctors are sometimes considered ineffective or poor care if the patient is not subjected to some sort of scanning machine.  But why wouldn’t it, right?  Even animals are subject to 3D scanning nowdays.  A veterinarian on an episode of Animal Cop was incapable of determining the severity of the injuries on a rescued dog, until she performed a CAT scan.  I smiled at the idea of doing something “cat” to a dog.
Most of the time body scans ranging from $400.00 to $4,500.00 are a very efficient way of testing for irregularities in our bodies without invasive procedures. Doctors are not usually questioned on their request for a scan because the idea of generating a 3D image of our bodies for medical necessity compensate the price, striping, cold table, noise and temporary isolation involved with the use of scanning machines.  Before I even consider mentioning the programming languages C/C++ ,  Java and others and electromagnetism employed in the developing of these scanning machines, let me explore some popular uses of these scanning machines.  On future postings I will go into more detail about 3D software development and its interaction with hardware. The three most common uses in the US are CAT, MRI and Nuclear scanning.
Computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan machines produce X-rays images of a body scanning it from hundreds of different angles. A computer then takes all these images and puts together a 3-D image of the body.  X-rays are basically images of light shot trough the body and an image of the skeleton structure is shown at the other end.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, are similar designs as the CATs but they use electromagnetic fields and radio waves to generate 2D or 3D images of soft tissue.  Think of this magnet as a beam gun, with which you shoot a part of the body and your tissues respond to that light.  But in this case of course, we are using extremely strong magnetic fields.  Body tissues respond normally or abnormally to this field and that information recorded by differences in colors represented on the images.  If tissue or a whole organ responds abnormally to the field, the doctor is immediately warned that something might be wrong with that organ.
Nuclear imaging, PET & SPECT, uses radioactive substances to captured images of our bodies.  Positron Emission Tomography (PET) uses radioactive substances that decay  quickly in order to reduce the damage to body tissues.  On the other hand, Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) uses radioactive substances that decay slower, and are less expensive and more commonly used.  A patient injected with a radioactive substance emits strong energy movements inside their bodies called gamma rays.  These rays are interpreted as electrical signals by a specialized scanning machine and eventually transform into images with a computer. These scans are effective when checking for brain irregularities and other organs as well. From the images doctors can detect no activity that could mean Alzheimer’s disease or super activity that could be a tumor, without having to do any physical incision.   SPECT is very effective in checking the blood flow to determine blood blockage and heart abnormalities and functionality of other organs.
Capsule Endoscopy is also a new imaging technology that uses a small camera in shape of a pill to transmit images through Bluetooth enabled technology.   In this procedures patient swallow a small camera that travels through the digestive system to explore part of the body that regular Endoscopy, which uses a long wire with a camera at the end, cannot reach.  Once patients swallow this pill, it is magnetically guided through specific parts of the body.
Capsule Endoscopy-PillCam

The satisfaction of finding out the health status of our body without any surgery is tremendously appreciated.  However, this wonderful 3D scanning technology can be extremely dangerous when proper procedures are not followed.  Metals become extremely dangerous around these machines, so people are asked to get rid of any metal to prevent them from becoming projectiles.  Patients with metals implants can suffer tissue damage or the implants can be irrevocably damaged. In Nuclear Imaging patient are exposed and injected with low levels of radioactive substances.  Pregnant women are strongly advised against any type of scanning for fear of causing any damage to the unborn child.  The capsule in Endoscopy can get stuck inside the body prompting for surgical extraction.  However the benefits of obtaining precise images of tissues, organs and the entire body may outweigh the risks of the scanning procedure.
For the ultimate in vanity, wouldn’t you like to see a 3D view of yourself in the morning just before heading out the door? I am waiting for the day when normal mirrors have been replaced by 3D imagers allowing you a full view of your clothing and overall appearance just before you step out of the door.   Life would be good when you can lift your head up high and say, “Step aside people, I just saw myself, and I am looking good from every angle!”


1. iamdanielhuang - September 18, 2011

Great post. I think 3D is a gimmick in most of the technology today but definitely not in the medical field. I mean come-on, a 3D screen on your phone? Really? But 3D scanning of the body seems really much more efficient and accurate as apposed to 2D. It does sound a little scary that some of these procedures are quite dangerous.

2. zohranaeemi - September 19, 2011

Great detail epliantion of 3D and the pictures add more effect to it. I really enjoy reading your post. I never seen a 3D movie because I think it is gimmick as dandiel said ,but I like to see 3D images brain, heart and other kind of medical 3D images. Keep up the good work and I really like to learn more about 3D imagining.

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