JOURNAL ARTICLE

An online interactive simulation system for medical imaging education

Aditya Dikshit, Dawei Wu, Chunyan Wu, Weizhao Zhao
Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics: the Official Journal of the Computerized Medical Imaging Society 2005, 29 (6): 395-404
15996851
This report presents a recently developed web-based medical imaging simulation system for teaching students or other trainees who plan to work in the medical imaging field. The increased importance of computer and information technology widely applied to different imaging techniques in clinics and medical research necessitates a comprehensive medical imaging education program. A complete tutorial of simulations introducing popular imaging modalities, such as X-ray, MRI, CT, ultrasound and PET, forms an essential component of such an education. Internet technologies provide a vehicle to carry medical imaging education online. There exist a number of internet-based medical imaging hyper-books or online documentations. However, there are few providing interactive computational simulations. We focus on delivering knowledge of the physical principles and engineering implementation of medical imaging techniques through an interactive website environment. The online medical imaging simulation system presented in this report outlines basic principles underlying different imaging techniques and image processing algorithms and offers trainees an interactive virtual laboratory. For education purposes, this system aims to provide general understanding of each imaging modality with comprehensive explanations, ample illustrations and copious references as its thrust, rather than complex physics or detailed math. This report specifically describes the development of the tutorial for commonly used medical imaging modalities. An internet-accessible interface is used to simulate various imaging algorithms with user-adjustable parameters. The tutorial is under the MATLAB Web Server environment. Macromedia Director MX is used to develop interactive animations integrating theory with graphic-oriented simulations. HTML and JavaScript are used to enable a user to explore these modules online in a web browser. Numerous multiple choice questions, links and references for advanced study are provided in the tutorial for trainees to verify their understanding of each unit. It is expected that this tutorial will enhance medical imaging education, help trainees in subsequent analysis of image data, and form the basis for the development of more advanced technologies in the future.

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