Isis Innovation, a spinoff of the University of Oxford, has developed new software for existing MRI machines to reduce breathing artifacts in medical images of moving organs, such as liver that sits just below the diaphragm.
From the project page:
Radiographers and Radiologists have raised breathing artefacts as a major issue in accurate diagnosis and estimation of tumour volumes. With current methods, in 19% of cases at least 5% of the liver is missed. Indeed, for lesions between 6 and 30mm in diameter, 3% are missed completely with a further 21% being incorrectly staged, leading to false diagnosis of disease progression or regression.
Working closely with clinical staff, Oxford scientists have used their expertise to find a robust solution. On the left, is an image that is reconstructed from a series of slices. The liver boundary is not smooth and the tumour seems to consist of multiple parts. After application of the Oxford technology, the liver outline is much smoother and the tumour well represented by a spherical shape. The technology significantly improves patient comfort by reducing scan duration and avoiding recalls. The improved quality and accuracy of the dataset provides meaningful estimation of tumour volumes for more precise chemotherapy dose calculation. It is estimated that 25% of the annual 2 million abdominal MRI scans worldwide would benefit from this innovation. The invention reached the Finals of the 2007 Medical Futures Innovation Awards and was also the subject of a recent paper in the European Journal of Radiology.