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Kinect sensor in Xbox can be used to keep X-Ray radiation to a minimum

A radiologist must consider certain factors while taking an X-ray :motion positioning , field of view and thickness of the body part being scanned. As a result, for a perfect image several X-rays has to be taken which increases the patient’s radiation exposure.But now this can be remedied.

A motion sensing device named Kinect in the video gaming brand XBox can be used to reduce this radiation exposure while taking X-rays.The kinect sensor enables the users to control and interact with the XBox without using their hands.It scans the player’s body and transfers that image onto the system. This technology can be used to produce high quality X-rays.

"Patients, technologists, and radiologists want the best-quality X-rays at the lowest dose possible without repeating images," said Steven Don, M.D., associate professor of radiology at Washington University in St. Louis. "This technology is a tool to help achieve that goal."

Researchers at Washington School of Medicine have developed a proprietary software which when coupled with the Microsoft Kinect System can measure all the necessary factors like motion, position, field of view and thickness of body parts immediately before imaging. Real-time monitoring alerts technologists to factors that could compromise image quality.

“The goal is to produce high-quality X-ray images at a low radiation dose without repeating images,” Don said. “It sounds surprising to say that the Xbox gaming system could help us to improve medical imaging, but our study suggests that this is possible.”

This could benefit all patients especially children because of their radiation sensitivity and greater variations in body sizes, ranging from premature infants to teenagers.High-quality X-rays are critical in determining diagnoses and treatment plans.

Usually, radiologists use steel calipers to measure body part thickness, but it's a tool that often seems scary to children. However, a Kinect can do the same thing invisibly, as well as confirm that a patient is in the perfect position for the X-ray. “Additionally, we use the optical camera to confirm the patient is properly positioned,” Don explained. Don and his colleagues have combined the proprietary software they developed with the Microsoft Kinect 1.0 technology to improve X-ray imaging. They have applied for a patent last year. They also plan to continue their research with Microsoft Kinect 2.0.

There’s plenty of work and research to be done to make the kinect supported scanning technology practical.Researchers also believe in retrofitting the older equipments.

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