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RSNA: Researchers use Microsoft Kinect to improve X-ray exams

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | December 01, 2015
CT Medical Devices RSNA 2015 X-Ray
Dr. Steven Don speaking
at a press conference
Researchers have developed a software using the Microsoft Kinect gaming console that can help technologists and radiologists get high-quality X-rays at the lowest dose without having to repeat exams, according to a study presented today at the annual RSNA meeting.

The software is able to measure body part thickness and check for motion, positioning and beam adjustment immediately before X-ray imaging.

"It's feasible to use the Kinect system to confirm that the correct body parts are being imaged, optimize your radiation dose by setting your X-ray technique or dose delivery based on the patient's thickness, not age, and reduce the repeat rate by confirming position and making sure the anatomy isn't clipped, and checking for motion immediately before the radiogram," Dr. Steven Don, associate professor of radiology at the Washington University School of Medicine, said in a press conference.
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Microsoft Kinect was initially developed as a motion sensor and facial and voice recognition device for the Xbox gaming system. It allows the users to play the games without having to manually control a standard controller.

However, it has been increasingly adapted for certain applications outside of the gaming industry. The French software company, RM ingénierie, used the Kinect system in their physical therapy system called Kinapsys for patients with back pain and neurological damage from stroke.

Metal calipers are traditionally used to measure the patient's body-part thickness, but it's a time-consuming and intrusive process and can often scare young children. The Kinect system allows for automatic measurement of body-part thickness without having to touch the patient.

The software tracks the patient's motion and positioning in real time and alerts the technologists if any of the factors don't match the requisition. It also can detect if the wrong body part is in the X-ray field.

The industry is constantly on a quest to achieve the radiation dose goal of As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) while also improving image quality and the consistency of X-ray images. Don and his fellow researchers believe that Kinect system will help them achieve that.

"Our end goal is to empower the technologist with the information they need to take the best possible radiographs at a reasonable low dose without needing repeat radiographs," he said.

The researchers have concluded laboratory testing and plan to start to test the software with technologists in the near future. They started by investigating the software's use with X-rays, but Don said the software will also be useful for fluoroscopy and CT exams.

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Brian Tunell

Microsoft Kinect to improve X-ray exams

December 03, 2015 02:05

Well, this would certainly create less capable Radiology Technologists. A well trained, experienced Technologist doesn't need this type of device to acquire a diagnostic image that's beneficial to both the patient and Radiologist. As a Repair Specialist, I see this as another step in the dumbing down of a Technologist, just as the emphasis on Exposure Index values for a diagnostic image in training. There's little value.

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