January 1994

From Electronic Images to Computer-assisted Diagnosis in Medicine

Electronic imaging has been commonplace in the practice of real-time radiology (fluoroscopy) since the late 1950s. The onset of the digital revolution of the 1970s, however, radically broadened the spectrum of electronic possibilities. Two new modalities emerged—computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—and have dramatically affected the medical management of most of us in the adult patient population. Nuclear medicine (radio-isotope imaging) and diagnostic ultrasound have undergone more quiet electronic evolution but, sooner or later, will also end up taking new or refined kinds of interior views of most of us, usually at a lower cost.

An Academic Perspective on Electronic Imaging

I'll take an "academic perspective" to mean "advice to a young student with a yearning for a career in electronic imaging," rather than "advice to a young professor with a yearning for a brilliant career in imaging research." We are struggling to design education that might last a couple of decades without major overhauls, but things may be changing even faster than we imagine.

Electronic Imaging In Consumer Photography

With Sony's August 1981 announcement of its Mavica camera system, many predicted the end of traditional silver halide photography. Instead, the consumer market has yet to adopt the product, and only a few in the commercial and professional areas have taken an interest. Does this mean that the companies who pioneered this technology have failed? Far from it. Today, both Sony and Canon—early marketers of analog still video systems—have a good grasp on the markets for these products, and by 1994, all electronic cameras will be digital.

Electronic Imaging in Office Communications

Despite the dramatic changes that have occurred in the means by which offices do their work, the primary functions remain the same—reception, transmission, storage, retrieval, processing, and printout of information. The word "communication" indicates that information travels to and from sources. Thus communication in an office environment entails sending and receiving information. As we will see, electronic imaging is continuing to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of office communications worldwide.

Electronic Imaging at Hewlett-Packard

At first glance, the title might seem contradictory as Hewlett-Packard (HP) is not typically thought of as an electronic imaging company. HP's broad product line emphasizes computers, computer peripherals, components, test and measurement instrumentation, and telecommunications. HP sells many products used by the electronic imaging industry, but are we directly involved in this emerging industry? Indeed. The most recognizable imaging devices bearing the corporate logo are scanners and non-impact printers. It was in the development of these popular devices that HP has made some of the greatest advances in electronic imaging technology.

R & D Activities in Electronic Imaging at FujiFilm

The features and functions of the electronic imaging system are complementary to, or even compatible with, those of the conventional photographic system. The former offers us the capabilities of instantaneous transmission and display of captured images, electronic manipulation in terms of color, tone, brightness, and sharpness of the stored images, and easy and inexpensive storage of the image signals. Practical applications with hand-held electronic still cameras, such as Fuji's DS-200F, include urgent news-gathering, insurance adjusting of automobile accidents, field inspections of diverse facilities by the central control office, or field recording of business-related pictures. The same camera can be used for efficient recording and diagnosis at dentists' and ophthalmologists' offices.

Electronic Imaging at Xerox

As imaging technology increasingly moves from its optical origins to a digital electronics platform, one of Xerox Corp.'s research goals is to provide a seamless interchange between documents in paper and electronic forms. In pursuit of this goal, we generally view electronic imaging from one of three perspectives. First, we are interested in ways Xerox's traditional paper-based products are enhanced by electronic imaging. Second, we are exploring opportunities for remote access to, and display of, documents generated by electronic imaging. Finally, we are investigating and addressing ways that electronic imaging changes our concept of a document and of documenting.

High-density Electronic Imaging: Developments and Limitations

High-density electronic imaging (HDEI) means different things to different people. For some, electronic imaging simply refers to computerized word processing; others see electronic imaging as part of a complex system capable of moving huge blocks of imaging data at high speeds. There are three basic types of data flows to consider: • A bit-stream data flow that allows one computer to communicate and share data with another; • A graphics data flow that incorporates systems such as word processing and desktop publishing; and • HDEI for medical, photographic, and reprographic applications.

Electronic Imaging at Kodak

During the past decade, concepts and technologies for electronic imaging that had previously existed only as research ideas and limited prototypes rapidly made their way to commercial markets. These new capabilities, available at ever-decreasing cost, have significantly changed almost all commercial and professional applications of imaging. They have revolutionized graphic arts prepress operations, photojournalism, motion picture special effects and post-production methods; created the new field of desktop publishing; and significantly influenced professional photography, medical imaging, and document creation and archiving. For the amateur, home movies have shifted from film to video. The flexibility of electronic systems has now begun to impact the most widespread market for imaging of all—consumer still photography. A good review of the principles of electronic imaging has been given by Schreiber.

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