The Next Generation of Medical Imaging Coming From Emory

Medical imaging technologies have come a long way in the past century, and researchers from Emory have made numerous contributions to the field. As treatment options improve, physicians are looking for ways to improve accuracy and specificity. Researchers at Emory are focused on developing new medical imaging technologies in order to streamline treatment, decrease cost, and improve patient outcomes.Cardiac Toolbox Screen Shot

Emory has numerous products used in the market today that have made their way to the ultimate endpoint – patients. One such technology is the Emory Cardiac Toolbox. Ernest Garcia, PhD, the Director of the Emory Nuclear Cardiology R&D Laboratory, developed a technology that creates unique 3-D images of the heart through a dynamic software system. Emory Cardiac Toolbox (ECTb) assesses whether a patient has coronary artery disease, but at a highly specific level. The technology helps care providers see blood flow in virtual “slices” of the heart, which allows them to determine what type of treatment is best suited for the location and type of blockage. This software has changed the way physicians approach cardiac treatments, and ECTb has since become one of the most widely used cardiac imaging technologies. While ECTb helps physicians visualize the heart, Velocity AI, developed by Emory University by radiation oncologists Tim Fox, PhD and Ian Crocker, MD, the Emory start-up company Velocity Medical Solutions (subsequently purchased by Varian Medical Systems), helps physicians visualize cancerous tumors. This software merges numerous image sets to create a high quality image to show the tumor’s boundaries and improves treatment precision. These two technologies make vast improvements in how we treat the two of the leading causes of death nationwide.Velocity Screen Shot

While ECTb and Velocity AI have had great success on the market, there are numerous medical imaging technologies in the pipeline at Emory. One such promising technology was inspired by the hyperspectral imaging used by NASA for satellite imaging. Emory’s Baowei Fei, PhD, Director of Quantitative BioImaging Laboratory and a Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Cancer Scientist, is working to translate hyperspectral imaging in order to identify tumors in the body through non-invasive procedures and improve cancer treatment. Fei is also working on another technology that will merge images from PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). The two types of imaging are two examples of promising next generation technology that can improve patient outcomes.Combined MR & PET Image

In addition, Emory is home to numerous innovative technologies that are fresh from the lab:

These technologies make unique improvements on nanoparticle imaging, which is used in a wide variety of diagnostic and treatment procedures. Medical imaging technologies go far beyond MRI and ultrasound, and the field has been shaped by the influence of improvements in computing power and data sharing. Emory is a hub for imaging technologies and the creative approaches continue to reshape how we view the human body and develop treatments.