November 11, 2010

IIT software to cut down cost of medical tests

Promising some relief to those spending a considerable amount of their income on hospitals bills and medical tests, the rates of MRI, CT scan, X-Ray and ultrasound tests are set to come down by next year. This will be possible with development of a software by IIT Roorkee in a joint project with PGI Chandigarh.

The software, which will be installed in these diagnostic machines, will be able to easily pick up any abnormality in ultrasound, MRI, or a CT scan. An analytical data has been saved in the software according to the texture and various signals from these image tests. Comparing an abnormal scan or ultrasound with the standardised data generated in the computer will make it possible for the medicos to identify the disease, said professor and head, electrical engineering department at Roorkee IIT, Dr Vinod Kumar.

This is the first IIT-PGI project. The database provided in the software will suit diseases pertaining to our country. "The present software has to be imported, which shoots the rates of these tests. We will provide this software free of cost to public centres like the PGI and AIIMS," noted Vinod.

The IIT has already worked on ultrasound for liver and has reached the second phase of trial in interpretation of the data for a CT and MRI in combination. Head of the radio diagnosis at PGI, Prof N Khandelwal said, "This is going to reduce the price of these diagnostic imaging tests as the software is indigenous. In addition to this, any doctor at a primary health centre can prepare a provisional report without consulting secondary or tertiary level hospitals."

"Any area where the malformation is suspected can be highlighted, zoomed, increased in brightness easily for treatment planning. There is no need for a super specialist to record the readings while preparing a report for the imaging. The parameters in the software can be matched with the patients scan with ease," added Vinod.

Cost of a CT scan ranges between Rs 350 and Rs 900 at PGI while at GMCH the rates vary from Rs 550 to Rs 2,500 depending on the body parts.

Link: Original Article

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