Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Radiation Imaging Control Apparatus, Method of Controlling Radiation Imaging Control Apparatus, Medical Imaging Apparatus, Medical Image Display Method, and Sto
The patent's assignee is Canon Kabushiki Kaisha.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a radiation imaging control apparatus, a method of controlling a radiation imaging control apparatus, a medical imaging apparatus, a medical image display method, and a storage medium.
"Conventionally, medical imaging apparatuses have been widely used as apparatuses for capturing 'medical images' used when doctors and the like check and diagnose the medical conditions of patients. Various types of medical imaging apparatuses are available, including an X-ray imaging apparatus and X-ray CT apparatus using X-rays, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) apparatus, a nuclear medicine imaging apparatus typified by a PET or SPECT, and an ultrasonic imaging apparatus. There are also available various types of medical images captured by a medical imaging apparatus, ranging from morphological images to images captured by imaging functional values such as a blood flow to the brain.
"For this reason, a doctor or the like determines a medical image suitable for diagnosis for each patient and uses a medical imaging apparatus capable of capturing the medical image to acquire a desired medical image.
"When checking and diagnosing the medical condition of a patient by using an acquired medical image, a doctor or the like performs comparative interpretation by making the apparatus display, for example, a medical image of the same patient captured in the past and the currently captured medical image on the same display window side by side. Alternatively, the doctor performs diagnosis while comparing the currently captured medical image with a case image suitable for the main purpose of the diagnosis using the medical image upon displaying the images side by side.
"For this reason, the medical imaging apparatus is preferably configured to perform preview display of a medical image captured in a past inspection (to be referred to as a different-inspection image hereinafter) in the currently executed inspection.
"This is because it is possible to perform comparative interpretation faster than an interpretation system such as Viewer if it is possible to perform preview display of an image captured in the current inspection as a medical image immediately after imaging (to be referred to as a captured image hereinafter) and a different-inspection image arranged side by side.
"When performing follow-up observation of the same patient, it is necessary to match imaging states at the time of the current imaging operation such as the posture and imaging direction of the patient and the aperture of a collimator with those at the time of the previous imaging operation. Displaying a different-inspection image is therefore effective in grasping the imaging state at the time of the previous imaging before the current imaging operation.
"When, however, a medical imaging apparatus is configured to display captured images and different-inspection images on the same display window side by side, display for a patient with many different-inspection images may suffer a shortage of display area on a display window. In addition, if many different-inspection images are displayed on a display window, it is difficult to discriminate captured images from the different-inspection images, and it is also difficult to identify a desired different-inspection image (a different-inspection image suitable for comparison).
"In contrast to this, Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2008-102665 has proposed an arrangement configured to search for a similar case image based on the characteristics of a captured image in the first imaging operation and search for a different-inspection image of the same imaging portion in the second and subsequent imaging operations. Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2010-022653 has proposed an arrangement configured to search for different-inspection images of the same patient and display them on a display window different from the display window of a captured image."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a radiation imaging control apparatus which uses a radiation detector for obtaining a radiation image, the apparatus comprising: a display control unit configured to display an imaging window for controlling radiation imaging on a display unit, wherein the imaging window includes display areas for displaying at least one imaging condition included in one inspection, a captured image obtained based on the imaging condition, and a radiation image of an inspection different from the inspection, and in accordance with selection of an imaging condition which has not been used for imaging among the displayed imaging conditions, the display control unit controls the radiation detector and displays the radiation image of the different inspection based on the imaging condition.
"According to the present invention, it is possible to improve convenience to the operator of a medical imaging apparatus which can display different-inspection images.
"Further features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of exemplary embodiments (with reference to the attached drawings).
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing the overall arrangement of an X-ray imaging system 100 including an X-ray imaging apparatus 101 according to an embodiment;
"FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing the functional arrangement of an X-ray imaging control unit 104;
"FIG. 3A is a view showing an example of a display window displayed on the X-ray imaging apparatus 101 before the execution of imaging;
"FIG. 3B is a view showing an example of a display window displayed on the X-ray imaging apparatus 101 after the execution of imaging;
"FIG. 4 is a view showing a display window to be displayed when a search condition setting button 309 is pressed;
"FIG. 5 is a flowchart showing a procedure for different-inspection image display control processing before the execution of imaging;
"FIG. 6 is a flowchart showing a procedure for different-inspection image display control processing after the execution of imaging;
"FIG. 7 is a view showing an example of a display window to be displayed when a representative image switching button 310 is pressed; and
"FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing a procedure for representative image switching processing."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Miyazawa, Nobu. Radiation Imaging Control Apparatus, Method of Controlling Radiation Imaging Control Apparatus, Medical Imaging Apparatus, Medical Image Display Method, and Storage Medium. Filed
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