At the Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) – the most prominent gathering of the discipline worldwide – Fraunhofer presented awards to outstanding German technology developers. The largest application-oriented research organization in Europe carries out nationwide competitions, in Germany, for business cases from various fields; winners are given the opportunity to present their innovative products and solutions at international forums. The aim is to enable the exchange of information between scientists and industry, to foster international cooperation, and to identify research and development needs. The competitions form part of the “Research in Germany” activity of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Late November in Chicago, awards were presented to “German High Tech Champions” in the field of medical imaging (›Fig. 1). Winners include Prof. Frank Duffner, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Tübingen; his “NeuroComrade” system combines a video operating microscope with robotics. This fully digital tool for image-guided neurosurgery, developed by three German universities, integrates navigation and multimodal visualization.
Prof. Ulrike Wedegärtner’s business case, “EasyTrigger” for cardiovascular MR imaging, is an MR compatible Doppler ultrasound device. It was developed at the University Medical Center of Hamburg-Eppendorf to trigger the heart frequency of adults and fetuses.
Michael Herbst from the radiology department of the University Medical Center in Freiburg focuses on prospective motion correction in MRI. Patient movements cause risks in MR exams; motion artifacts can lead to misdiagnosis. “X-PACE” helps prevent such artifacts by external tracking.
“MITK pocket – Live the Mobile Dream” is the award wining business case from the Division of Medical and Biological Informatics at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. It allows for the viewing of DICOM images anywhere, anytime on smartphones or tablet PCs, e.g. at the patient bedside, outlined Group Leader Markus Fangerau. The solution provides a framework of high-performance methods for visualization and image processing which “overcomes the restrictions of stationary workstations”.
“RadSpeech” is a business case from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in Saarbrücken. According to senior researcher Dr. Daniel Sonntag, the solution makes possible dialog-based radiology image reporting on the iPhone and iPad. The system is more robust than speech-to-text systems and integrates well into radiology reporting workflows. The aim is to build the next generation of intelligent, scalable, user-friendly mobile semantic search and image annotation interfaces for medical imaging.