Offline and real time visualization
When dealing with imaging modalities there is one step that is part of every workflow: The visualization. Not solely for diagnostic purposes but also for intervention planning and navigation the visualization of images and image volumes is one of the most important components of the engaged software products. The physician must be enabled to have the best views on relevant structures, suspicious regions and used instruments.
The visualization can be realized e.g. by the use of “Multiplanar Reconstructions” (MPRs), surface rendering, volume rendering or mixed techniques as shown in the image on the left. Especially volume rendering allows a wide range of different views for the same medical dataset.
Because every physician has its own preference in terms of visualization and every use case requires special visualization techniques, we developed different software prototypes for different areas of application.
For images that are recorded prior to assessment of findings (offline), we developed different VTK-based software prototypes. One of these prototypes for offline visualization is VisualDiag.
Real time visualization
In image-guided interventions, images are recorded synchronously to the procedure (real time). E.g. in real time 3-D volume sonography (3-D+t or 4-D ultrasound) not merely a single image slice but rather a whole volume must be visualized. The thereby created tremendous data stream (up to 65Mbyte/sec) cannot be processed in real time by standard C++- or VTK-algorithms on CPUs. For this purposes GPUs and specialized languages like OpenGLSL, C for CUDA, or OpenCL C are necessary.
We implemented different GPU-based algorithms for real time image enhancement and 2D-/4D-visualization - exemplary illustrated as visualization of liver vessels in 3-D and 4-D ultrasound volumes. These algorithms are part of the software prototype RTV.