Study: Undersea mine detection technology useful in augmenting digital mammography images

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Advanced Image Enhancement Inc.’s (AIE), a provider of image-processing tools for medical imaging, has adapted a technology originally created for detecting undersea mines into one that can be used for breast cancer image enhancement. Yesterday radiologists at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass., released findings from a breast cancer research study designed to evaluate the use of Advanced Image Enhancement, Inc.’s (AIE) software for examining Regions Of Interest (ROI) in conjunction with Hologic’s Lorad Selenia digital mammography system.

The study found that the AIE software helped a radiologist detect cancer with ease in 20 to 70 percent of the cases studied, depending upon the radiologist. When asked to rate AIE technology on the ability of the software to improve the conspicuity and detail of calcifications, the radiologist participating in the study rated the software superior in 88 percent of the cases. For dense breast tissue, the report concluded that AIE technology provided a significant advantage for improving clarity of structures, according to a release of the findings.

The researchers compared the ROI of a magnified Selenia image with the corresponding magnified ROI of an AIE-enhanced Selenia image for both views [one cranial-caudal (CC) and one mediolateral-oblique (MLO)] of the breast for 50 women presenting with suspicious abnormalities.

“Providing physicians with the technology to see more detail with better clarity is quite valuable,” said Alan Semine, MD, the study’s chief investigator, and medical director of The Auerbach Breast Center and chief of breast imaging at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. “Breast cancer detection still poses many challenges to the physician community. This study highlights the fact that complementary technologies can be very effective in improving the display of visual information inherent in digital mammograms and can ultimately help physicians detect breast cancer more effectively.”

The study involved researchers from Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Faulkner Hospital all in Massachusetts. The study was funded by Aid for Cancer Research and Hologic Inc. Hologic is partnering with AIE to develop the algorithms for the digital mammography market.