Medical researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, have modified Microsoft’s Xbox gaming technology – which is based on the Kinect system, to perform excellent X-ray images with very minimal radiation risks to patients.
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Perfect for radiographers who have to X-ray difficult patients such as children who get squirmy during X-ray procedures, the hands-free proprietary software from the Xbox gaming system provides the perfect solution radiographers need to take high-quality X-ray images without exposing the patient to undue radiation exposures.
Combined with Kinect system, the software is capable of determining thick or thin parts of the human body, and also evaluates for body movement and positioning before allowing an X-ray to be taken.
An associate professor of radiology at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at the university, Steven Don, stated that there are monitoring alerts that work in real-time to inform radiologists of issues that could affect the quality of images taken. This is more crucial because squirming or sudden movements during X-ray might necessitate that more images be taken, and this process increases the risks of exposure to radiation.
Results obtained from a feasibility research had been presented on Wednesday, December 2 at the yearly meeting of the meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.
“The goal is to produce high-quality X-ray images at a low radiation dose without repeating images,” Don said. “It sounds surprising to say that the Xbox gaming system could help us to improve medical imaging, but our study suggests that this is possible.”
Since the quality of any X-ray image is dependent on the thickness of a particular body part, the Xbox gaming software is powered by an infrared sensor that evaluates thickness of body parts without touching the patient.
The Kinect software was basically designed to work as a motion sensor and voice and face recognition system for Xbox game, but it has now been adapted to “To achieve the best image quality while minimizing radiation exposure…Additionally, we use the optical camera to confirm the patient is properly positioned,” Don said.