FEBRUARY 25--At the recent SPIE Symposium on Medical Imaging, Mercury Computer Systems Inc. (Chelmsford, MA; www.mc.com) demonstrated new extensions to its RACE++ family of high-performance embedded computer systems that achieve speeds up to 20 times faster than previously possible for processing high-resolution, three-dimensional (3-D) medical diagnostic images. The systems are targeted initially at the medical diagnostic imaging market and will define the ultimate platform for medical image processing, combining robust performance in affordable systems that manufacturers can quickly bring to market. At the symposium Mercury demonstrated its system processing a cone-beam reconstruction of a 512 x 512 x 512 image in 15.5 seconds, which is 20 to 40 times faster than the 5 to 10 minutes typically required with conventional angiographic equipment currently in use.
Rapid diagnosis and treatment is crucial in life-threatening situations requiring emergency treatment, such as brain aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations. When integrated into the next design cycle of medical imaging systems, Mercury's subsystem design will dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis and treatment in time-critical situations.
"The techniques pioneered by Mercury make possible a new generation of medical imaging systems that can process images in seconds rather than minutes," said Didier Thibaud, vice president and general manager of Mercury's Medical Business Group. "We now can offer all of the system components--the technology, the hardware, the software--everything necessary for the medical-imaging-equipment manufacturers to bring their products to market rapidly. These new systems will enhance the quality of patient care, and we'll make every effort to ensure their availability to equipment manufacturers within months, not years."
The new technique provides for reduced time from imaging to treatment, reduced procedure time and risk, reduced x-ray dose and amount of contrast agent, reduced hospital stays, and reduced health-care costs, while providing improved treatment plans and patient outcomes.