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What’s Next for Biomedical Imaging?
by Barry Mazor
The biomedical markets — from live in-the-operating-theater imaging assistance, to pathology, to research — have been one of the most developed and most backed over the whole course of advanced imaging and image processing history. And while these markets and technologies may strike providers in more volatile sector as relatively "steady state,nbsp" there are, nevertheless, peaks and valleys in the flow of both support and technological advancements in the field.Sharon Williams Stan Schwartz
For this issue’s roundtable, we’ll take a look at some of the next peaks in the field of biomedical imaging.
Advanced Imaging: As we head towards 2005, what imaging and image processing/analysis capabilities are still most in need of development in that vital arena? And where do you see the opportunities, looking just ahead?
Sharon Williams, PerkinElmer Life & Analytical Sciences: One of the key opportunities ahead lies in imaging of tissues and cells to better understand the chemical changes that occur in disease. PerkinElmer FT-IR imaging instruments are being used in new ways to detect chemical changes that are very evident with our imaging technology, but which are typically not visible until much later in the development of disease. The expectation is that pathologists using this imaging technology can effectively screen in a more objective way and at an earlier stage of disease. Researchers are also interested in better understanding diseases on the macro scale and tissue studies with FT-IR imaging can provide valuable insight into the way the chemical composition changes at various disease stages.
Stan Schwartz, Nikon Instruments: At Nikon Instruments, we see three areas as strategic to the future of our industry. First, optical light microscopy and automated research microscopy are areas that encompass both bio-research and clinical applications. In that regard, the newly announced Nikon 90i microscope features innovative new optics optimized for digital imaging to deliver maximum performance and efficiency. Second, live cell microscopy is exploding in bio-research applications. So in July, we announced the Digital Eclipse C1-Plus modular confocal microscope system that adds new solid-state laser technology and scanning features, boosting optical performance and image acquisition, enabling improved live cell imaging for FRAP and FRET applications. We’ve bundled new software for image analysis, enabling users to analyze protein and molecular biology using the tracking capabilities of the software. Third, automated networked imaging is taking off in clinical and educational markets. Our COOLSCOPE VS has been recognized as one of the most technologically significant products introduced over the past year. It’s a fully automated, Web-enabled microscopy imaging system providing remote image access and ability to share and conduct research on multiple images in real time over a global network. New to the CoolScope applications is the ability to scan and use Virtual Slide technology to digitize glass slide specimens at microscope resolution, database and archive the images and then serve them over the Internet to remote locations for clinicians to view as if they were actually using a microscope. With these responses, we think we’re setting global standards in these areas!