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Chad Haney
Works at Northwestern University
Attended Illinois Institute of Technology
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Chad Haney

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Medical visualization, it's what I see and do
I was going to summarize an article about the history of medical visualization that was discussed in MIT Technology Review in 2012.
The Future of Medical Visualisation
However, I think that the #OpenAccess  article that they reference does a good job on its own. It's kind of strange to think of a review of a review of a review article.
From individual to population: Challenges in Medical Visualization

Rather than review the review of the review, I'll add a few comments and answer your questions. So read either the MIT Tech Rev article or the journal article and ask questions. This is an opportunity to talk to a scientist that works in the medical imaging field.

The article mentions multi-modal volume visualization. If you have been following my  #CHMedicalImagingSeries then you know that each imaging technique (modality) has strengths and weaknesses. Combining imaging modalities, like the MRI and CT below of my head, allow you to take advantages of the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. To get the best out of multi-modality imaging you need to be able to fuse the images. The technical term is image registration or some like image co-registration. There is a lot of research in just this technique to make it more automated. One common technique is called mutual information. Our brains can easily tell that the dark material in MRI is bone (e.g. my skull) and it should match the bright material in CT. Mutual information tells the computer to consider that bright could equal dark by normalizing the images first. The principal axes of the objects are also used to register (align/fuse) the two images. For therapy planning, both surgery (cosmetic) and tumor resection/radiation, multi-modality imaging can have a huge benefit. They mention that in 1993 Altobelli used multi-modality imaging to visualize the possible outcome of complicated craniofacial surgery.

Another use of medical imaging visualization is virtual colonoscopy. Visualization tools that you need are surface/volume rendering, skeletonization, and segmentation.
UCSF Radiology: What Virtual Colonoscopy CT Scans Look Like

Surface/volume rendering is just what it sounds like. The data is analyzed and the surface can be identified and displayed with shading and lighting such that it looks 3D. You can make it true 3D with the right equipment (3D glasses, 3D monitor, and software to split the data into left and right views) but that's not essential. It can't be emphasized enough that modern GPUs have made these difficult calculations become trivial. Some of the early animation work and medical image visualization required high end UNIX workstations. Now that same level of visualization can be done with a low-end gaming PC.

Segmentation is also, just as it sounds. There are automated and manual segmentation tools. For example in the heart and skeleton images below, the tissue of interest has been segmented out of the "background" tissue, e.g., the internal organs, muscle, etc. Again, there is research in this technique alone. Our brain can look at a medical image and identify parts of the brain or organs quickly. "Teaching" a computer program to do that automagically is very difficult, especially if there is motion due to breathing. In that case, you may have to use image registration to get rid of the motion blurring first.

Skeletonization is a process of identifying paths. For colonoscopy, that would be teaching the program to traverse the path of the colon. I've done work where we were measuring blood vessel diameters in a pulmonary hypertension model. Skeletonization was used to automatically identify each part of the vascular tree. From there, it was easy for the software to measure each diameter.

The first three images are fused images of a CT and MRI of me. The yellow surface rendered part is from CT as it shows bone (skull) very well. The grey-scale part of the image is MRI which shows soft tissue very well. The rest of the images are from a Toshiba 320 slice CT. In CT technology, a ring of detectors is used capture the signal from the x-ray source. Each ring is called a slice in clinical CT machines. For a while 64 slice was considered the best. Now 256 and 320 slice machines are becoming available. More slices means you can cover a larger area in a shorter amount of time. So highly detailed images of the heart can be acquired without motion artifacts from the beating heart. Likewise for the lungs.

Here's a few older posts that will hopefully help you understand the article.

Medical Imaging 101 pt 1 (
Medical Imaging 101 pt 2: CT (
Medical Imaging 101 pt 3: MRI (
Functional vs. anatomic image (
Visible Human project (
Eye of Horus post (

Image sources other than the above article:
Lung and brain CT images (

CT Heart (
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+Mercy Micumao You might find this useful.
The myth of the eight-hour sleep
“…We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.…”
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h/t +Jennifer Freeman​
Obama wasn't perfect, but he was cut out for the job. Trump is completely unprepared.
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Sadly it will be too late when the GOP discovers that an unqualified cabinet leads to a horrendous administration. 
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That's unbelievable, +Bill McGarvey​. I should go as far as calling it fake news.
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"#DontNormalizeHate" draws parallels between the Japanese internment camps in the 1940s and Donald Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric.
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There's already many databases tracking everything about you. Census, social security, etc.

Are you telling me you don't believe the government has many databases on every American? Hell, Amazon and Target have extensive databases on shoppers. If you think the government doesn't know all it needs to know across just a few databases ranging from census, social security, and IRS you're fooling yourself.

Also, as I said, if you think the goverment doesn't already have the capability to determine pretty much every aspect of your life, you're crazy.

Please stop wasting everyone's time, +Gary Beltrami. You're just trolling. You've mentioned several times that the government already collects enough information. Those are your words. You should understand what they mean.
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I have health insurance, pretty good IMO. I was able to pay off a crap-ton of student loans. That doesn't mean I don't care about saving the ACA and supporting Bernie's push for more affordable higher education. Too many people feel like, "I worked hard/struggled to get X, so you should too". The way I see it, just because it wasn't easy for me, doesn't mean I have to support keeping it difficult. What if the next person following in your footsteps is actually someone you know? It's easy to vilify that unknown/hypothetical person.

h/t +Jennifer Freeman

The actual quote is:
Wrongdoing can only be avoided if those who are not wronged feel the same indignation at it as those who are.
–Greek Wit (F. Paley)
Solon (the Lawgiver) c640 - c556 BC Statesman of Athens, writer of its compassionate legal code.
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thanks so much Chad. . .
2 different guys had come up
with Emma Kuntz and I had
misattributed to piece to her
because of it. . .
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Not really. Stollen is a sweet bread with a little bit of fruit. 
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For my knitting friends. 
Scores of people have filled knit-ins to stitch up a movement's signature visual topper.
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I've written about anti-intellectualism many times before. One of the recent ones is here:

At the core of all of this dysfunction is an abandonment of reason.

As a scientist, Trump's anti-science moves and the anti-intellectualism that his supporters adore, makes me even more concerned about the future of this country.

1) Trump’s pick for head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has actively battled its mission
2) He chose former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Energy Secretary
3) He chose an energy company executive for secretary of State
4) He met with a vaccine critic while planning a commission on autism
5) His transition team sought information about Energy Department staff associated with climate change

The president-elect has taken what is widely seen as a hostile stance toward the scientific community. Here’s why
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Ah, I forgot seasonal hiring. Thanks for mentioning it, +Jacqueline Arsenault! Yes, definitely look into that as an option, too.
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Poor People's Campaign
The Poor People's Campaign seems just as relevant today as it was back in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's era.

I'm listening to a podcast about an elementary school in the same poor neighborhood that Dr. King stayed in, when he was in Chicago. The documentary is heart breaking as it seems there hasn't been much progress since the days of Dr. King living near there.

The View from Room 205.
In his final book, the civil rights leader laid out his vision for a universal basic income that would raise all Americans into the middle class.
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+Akinola Emmanuel​, there's some office about mentoring and community outreach near the credit union. I'll have to inquire. 
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Biz Czar is Mr. Richfield
The Biz Czar, aka Cheeto Jesus, is really triceratops, Mr. Richfield. Who knew?
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This sounds perfectly legitimate.
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I can't confirm or deny that, +Brigitte W.​
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Cleveland Clinic is fully committed to evidence-based medicine
I wonder what appropriately disciplined means. Anyway, I'm glad that the Cleveland Clinic recognized the danger of having their name associated with anything anti-vax.

The Science Mag article mentioned the increasing popularity of Alternative Medicine and how the Cleveland Clinic isn't the only big hospital that is offering Alternative Medicine.

Here's a bit from NPR from a few years ago.
But Is It Medicine? – Northwestern Memorial was one of the first U.S. hospitals to combine conventional medicine with alternative treatments like acupuncture, Reiki, and Chinese herbal remedies. In response to patient demand, a growing number of hospitals in Chicago and across the country are offering such services, but questions remain about their legitimacy. Most have not been scientifically proven to work, which also means they aren’t covered by insurance. Should patients be shelling out of pocket for alternative treatments? And what solution can conventional medicine provide?

Chicago Mag and NPR

I've written before about why it's so important to correct false information about vaccines. Here's just one example.
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Closing comments for now, as I can't babysit and drive sleep at the same time.
Chad's Collections
I'm the medical imaging, Red Wings, Formula One, Tech guy.
I'm a scientist/engineer interested in image based biomarkers, i.e., non-invasively visualizing disease or response to therapy. I mainly research cancer using MRI, PET/SPECT/CT, and EPRI but I'm also interested in cardiovascular research.

Sports: Big formula one fan, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Bears, and Chicago White Sox.

Music: I like pretty much everything except country. Big fan of Pink Floyd. Bob Marley is a god-like-hero. I love house music when I'm programming or doing image analysis. Miles Davis is a mutical genius (say it in Gumby's voice).

Misc: love dogs, science/technology (gadgets), cars, bicycling... Also Member of The Incorrigibles.

My passion is science and science is my career choice, so I am grateful to be a co-curator for #ScienceSunday.

Don't circle me if you are not open minded and interested in science. I'm very much against the anti-intellectualism/anti-science movement.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
     Isaac Asimov, column in Newsweek (21 January 1980)

A few more hashtags for me #CHMedicalImagingSeries
Bragging rights
There's a whole country named after me. I also developed a blood substitute when I was a graduate student.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
    BS Chemical Engineering, 1994
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
    PhD Bioengineering, 2001
Other profiles
Collections Chad is following
Medical Imaging methods
  • Northwestern University
    Research Professor, 2012 - present
    Managing Director of the Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging
  • University of Chicago
    Research Professor, 2002 - 2012
    In charge of pre-clinical nuclear imaging. Lead multiple cancer research projects involving pre-clinical imaging.
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