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Holographic medical imaging: the laser as a visual scalpel-issues and observations on 3-D display

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1 Author(s)
R. R. Erickson ; Dept. of Res. & Dev., Hologram Med. Syst. Inc., Brooklyn, NY, USA

Holographic techniques are being applied to medical imaging with greater focus and increasing benefit than ever before. Exploratory uses for the hologram in medicine go back more than 15 years, but the recent increased appreciation of three-dimensional (3-D) rendering of medical radiological data has provided the opportunity to employ holographic rendering as an additional means of displaying the radiological volume. Our work in this area is described. With the increasing availability and use of 3-D in radiology, and especially the more advanced technology of the hologram, a number of issues have emerged which bear directly on the 3-D radiological image and precede the utilization of holography in the practice of medicine. These issues may well affect the acceptability and adoption of true 3-D radiology as a beneficial part of the medical practice. Issues include: resolution of the image; clarity of the image; usefulness of the third dimension; incremental cost in terms of time and reimbursement; and the means to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of the volumetric image in medical practice. Discussions include: limitations derived from the holographic transformation; a review of the underlying “data” from which the radiological imagery is derived; factors that enhance or degrade the apprehension of the image; and the assumptions that guide the interpretation of the radiological image. Conclusions indicate that the limitations of holographic 3-D radiological image is due more to the underlying data rather than by the holographic transformation. Further, an initial evaluation protocol for 3-D versus 2-D formats of radiological imagery is referenced, and clarification of issues regarding the evaluation of safety, effectiveness, reliability and appropriateness of the holographic rendering of 3-D radiology for use in medicine are encouraged, so that this important technique can benefit the practice of medicine and enhance the quality of health care

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 4 )