An early Star Trek movie had the Enterprise go back in time to capture a whale. In a chase scene through a hospital, Doctor McCoy passes a lady on a cart suffering from some disease. He asks her what’s wrong, she tells him, and says “but they’re going to do surgery to fix it.” McCoy gets bent out of shape and says “Butchers!”, then gives her a pill that, we learn in a later scene, makes her well.
A few years ago my wide had a sonogram. Watching those, I’ve always thought that the machine could be much better. The technician records image after image, but the software doesn’t try to put them together to enhance the image.
Reminds me of the people on TV who want to hide their identities, so their faces are pixelated. Surely, image processing could average all the images of a face and create a three-dimensional image of the face. Why aren’t we doing that with ultrasound tests? Maybe the software could built up a three-dimensional image from the scans. Perhaps an accelerometer could be used to figure out the relative location of the probe. I can imagine a surgeon wearing glasses for superimposing a 3-D image of the sonogram on top of the patient s/he’s looking at.
I’m having trouble sleeping. Last night I slept in the Troy Hospital’s sleep lab, with all kinds of wires hooked up. The technician says there haven’t been any significant changes in the equipment in the 13 years she’s been doing this. All those isolated probes; there must be some way to get more information out of them.
Also, I’ve got a carpal tunnel problem (I’m just getting old). So, they did a nerve conduction test on my arm and hand. One pulse generator, one detector.
Maybe a company that uses linear algebra, etc. will considering exploring how to make medical equipment less of a butcher’s art.
By the way, the sonogram stuff is interesting. I once had an echo cardiogram, which is a fancy ultrasound of the heart (it was fine). With some effort, the technician got the screen to color code the velocity of the blood. I surmise this involved the Doppler effect.
Update: A friend provided links to what is going on in this area.