Gaming technology helps Dementia imaging
Many patients find it hard or impossible to keep completely still during scans as part of their diagnosis or when taking part in research studies to find new treatments or better understand their condition. Preventing the blurring effects caused by this movement is an unsolved problem in medical imaging that leads to wasted or inaccurate data, impacting the cost and effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment. Imanova, in partnership with Imperial College London, has been awarded a grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to integrate Microsoft Kinect v2 technology into positron emission tomography (PET) imaging so that motion can be monitored in real time and accounted for in the image reconstruction process. This is an innovative way of capitalising on multi-billion dollar investments in the home entertainment industry and applying it to develop an accurate and low cost solution in the medical sector. Imanova is working with Microsoft and Siemens to develop a low cost, accurate, reliable and easy to use system that is integrated seamlessly into the scanning environment, allowing widespread adoption in diagnosis and research. This will be achieved by employing a state-of-the-art 3D camera (Microsoft Kinect 2) in combination with the latest advances in computer vision algorithms. The camera does not require special lighting, direct contact with, or attachment of anything to the patient. Coupled with the latest high resolution medical scanners the resulting images are free of the effects of any movement during the scan. Supporting clinical data will be acquired to demonstrate the accuracy and usability of the technology in a clinical imaging environment. The issue of subject motion is particularly important for PET neuroimaging studies of patients with dementia or other conditions that can lead to increased head movement. With the recent development of PET tracers to image amyloid, tau and inflammation patient motion correction is becoming ever more critical for diagnosis, stratification and clinical trials of new therapies. These developments will also benefit the recently announced Dementia Platform UK initiative. This is establishing a UK-wide network of imaging capabilities for early and differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative pathology enabling improved disease research, stratification, and more efficient early phase clinical trials. Repurposing low cost but sophisticated technologies such as the Kinect for medical use will not only deliver significant patient benefit within dementia, but has the potential to improve the understanding of a range of conditions to transform the lives of patients. For more information about Imanova, please visit www.imanova.co.uk.