A new –omics may change the future of medicine.
Millions of medical imaging scans, such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) are taken each year to aid medical professionals in treating their patients. However, after the images have served their initial purpose, they are rarely referenced again. Recently, the informatics sciences have grown to encompass morphometry, or the study or size and shape of anatomical structures. More specifically, the study of morphomics, has enabled researchers to use these previously acquired images to generate large relational databases and custom software. These tools are very powerful in that the morphometric data obtained from organs and tissues can be coupled to clinical data to develop programs for computer assisted detection, or diagnosis, of disease.
With analytical morphomics, a medical image is worth a thousand words.
Through a unique collaboration, radiologists and researchers at the University of Michigan have developed algorithms for computer assisted morphometric analysis of medical image scans. Their recent publications demonstrate how use of this technology can improve medical illness and injury diagnosis and aid prediction of successful surgical outcomes. Other potential uses include improving personal design of medical implants and enhancement of information gained from less costly, noninvasive medical tests.
- Perform more complex analyses
- Provide better informed diagnoses
- Suggest more appropriate treatment
- Deliver superior patient outcomes