News Column

"Method and Apparatus for Providing Medical Images" in Patent Application Approval Process

July 31, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors YOO, Jun-sang (Gangwon-do, KR); OH, Dong-hoon (Gangwon-do, KR); KIM, Sung-yun (Gangwon-do, KR), filed on August 20, 2013, was made available online on July 17, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Samsung Medison Co., Ltd.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for providing a medical image, and more particularly, to a method and apparatus for providing a three-dimensional (3D) medical image by rendering ultrasonic volume data for an object.

"An ultrasonic system has non-invasive and non-destructive characteristics and thus is widely used in various medical fields to obtain information regarding the inside of an object, i.e., a living body. Since the ultrasonic system may provide a high resolution image of the inside of the object to doctors in real-time without the need for surgery through which the object is incised to observe the inside of the object, the use of the ultrasonic system is important in the medical field.

"A recent ultrasonic system provides a three-dimensional (3D) ultrasonic image including clinical information such as spatial information and anatomical shapes that cannot be provided by a two-dimensional (2D) ultrasonic image. That is, the recent ultrasonic system transmits an ultrasonic signal to an object, receives an ultrasonic signal (an ultrasonic echo signal) that is reflected from the object, and forms volume data based on the received ultrasonic signal. In addition, the recent ultrasonic system forms a 3D ultrasonic image including clinical information by rendering the formed volume data.

"'volume rendering' is a technology for displaying a 2D projection image of a 3D discretely sampling data set, such as volume data. An example of a method of rendering volume data includes a ray casting method by which a virtual ray is cast to an object located in a virtual space and a reflected light is calculated."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention provides a method and apparatus for providing a more realistic and detailed three-dimensional (3D) image with respect to a region of interest for an object by performing a volume rendering for volume data of the object based on characteristics of an adjustable light source.

"According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of providing a medical image from volume data for an object, the method including: determining characteristics of a light source that radiates light onto the object which is located in a virtual space, based on a received user input; generating a three-dimensional (3D) image by performing a rendering on the volume data, based on the determined characteristics of the light source; and displaying the generated 3D image.

"The characteristics of the light source may include at least one of a distance from the object to the light source, a radiation angle of the light source, and a radiation direction of the light source.

"The determining of the characteristics of the light source may include determining a distance from the object to the light source, and the generating of the 3D image may include adjusting a brightness of at least a partial area of the 3D image based on the determined distance from the object to the light source.

"The determining of the characteristics of the light source may include determining a radiation angle of the light source, and the generating of the 3D image may include adjusting the extent of a shadow spread of at least a partial area of the 3D image based on the determined radiation angle of the light source.

"The determined characteristics of the light source may include characteristics of a spot light or a point light.

"The generating of the 3D image may include: casting a virtual ray to the volume data; shading sampling points on the virtual ray based on the determined characteristics of the light source; and calculating a final color value of a predetermined pixel included in the 3D image from a cumulative value of shading values of the sampling points.

"The method may further include: generating a directional light image by performing a rendering on the volume data based on characteristics of a directional light; and displaying the generated directional light image, wherein the displaying of the generated 3D image includes replacing the directional light image with the 3D image and then displaying the 3D image, based on the user input.

"The generating of the 3D image may include: casting a virtual ray to the volume data; shading sampling points on the virtual ray based on characteristics of a directional light passing through a predetermined filter; and calculating a final color value of a predetermined pixel included in the 3D image from a cumulative value of shading values of the sampling points, wherein the predetermined filter corresponds to the determined characteristics of the light source.

"The generating of the 3D image may include: generating a directional light image by performing a rendering on the volume data based on characteristics of a directional light; and transforming the directional light image based on the determined characteristics of the light source.

"The determining of the characteristics of the light source may include determining at least one of a shape, size, and gradation effect of at least a partial surface of the object that is brightly shown by radiating light thereto from the light source.

"According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an apparatus for providing a medical image, the apparatus including: a data acquisition unit that acquires volume data for an object; a receiver that receives a user input; an image generation unit that determines characteristics of a light source radiating light onto the object located in a virtual space based on the received user input and generates a 3D image by performing a rendering on the volume data based on the determined characteristics of the light source; and a display unit that displays the generated 3D image.

"The characteristics of the light source may include at least one of a distance from the object to the light source, a radiation angle of the light source, and a radiation direction of the light source.

"The image generation unit may determine a distance from the object to the light source as the characteristics of the light source, and may adjust a brightness of at least a partial area of the 3D image based on the determined distance from the object to the light source.

"The image generation unit may determine a radiation angle of the light source as the characteristics of the light source, and may adjust the extent of a shadow spread of at least a partial area of the 3D image based on the determined radiation angle of the light source.

"The image generation unit may determine the characteristics of the light source by determining at least one of a shape, size, and gradation effect of at least a partial surface of the object that is brightly shown by radiating light thereto from the light source.

"According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a computer-readable recording medium having embodied thereon a computer program for executing the method.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The above and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent by describing in detail exemplary embodiments thereof with reference to the attached drawings in which:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an apparatus for providing a medical image, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 2 is a flowchart illustrating a method of providing a medical image, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIGS. 3A and 3B are diagrams for explaining the apparatus for providing a medical image, according to the embodiment of the present invention, which generates a three-dimensional (3D) image based on characteristics of a light source;

"FIG. 4A is a diagram for explaining a directional light;

"FIG. 4B is a diagram for explaining a point light;

"FIG. 4C is a diagram for explaining a spot light;

"FIG. 5A illustrates an example of a 3D image that is displayed according to a feto-realistic view (FRV);

"FIG. 5B illustrates an example of a 3D image that is displayed in the apparatus for providing a medical image according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIGS. 6A through 6C are diagrams for explaining the apparatus of generating a 3D image according to an the embodiment of the present invention, which generates a 3D image based on characteristics of a light source;

"FIG. 7A illustrates 3D images that are displayed according to an FRV; and

"FIG. 7B illustrates 3D images that are displayed in the apparatus of generating a 3D image according to the embodiment of the present invention."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: YOO, Jun-sang; OH, Dong-hoon; KIM, Sung-yun. Method and Apparatus for Providing Medical Images. Filed August 20, 2013 and posted July 17, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4129&p=83&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140710.PD.&OS=PD/20140710&RS=PD/20140710

Keywords for this news article include: Samsung Medison Co., Samsung Medison Co. Ltd.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Politics & Government Week


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters