As radiologists progress from reading images presented on film to modern computer systems with images presented on high-resolution displays, many new problems arise. Although the digital medium has many advantages, the radiologist’s job becomes cluttered with many new tasks related to image manipulation. This paper presents our solution for supporting radiologists’ interpretation of digital images by automating image presentation during sequential interpretation steps. Our method supports scenario based interpretation, which group data temporally, according to the mental paradigm of the physician. We extended current hanging protocols with support for “stages”. A stage reflects the presentation of digital information required to complete a single step within a complex task. We demonstrated the benefits of staging in a user study with 20 lay subjects involved in a visual conjunctive search for targets, similar to a radiology task of identifying anatomical abnormalities. We designed a task and a set of stimuli which allowed us to simulate the interpretation workflow from a typical radiology scenario - reading a chest computed radiography exam when a prior study is also available. The simulation was possible by abstracting the radiologist’s task and the basic workstation navigation functionality. We introduced “Stages,” an interaction technique attuned to the radiologist’s interpretation task. Compared to the traditional user interface, Stages generated a 14% reduction in the average interpretation.
In the radiology workstation design, the race for adding more features is now morphing into an iterative user centric design with the focus on ergonomics and usability. The extent of the list of features for the radiology workstation used to be one of the most significant factors for a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) vendor's ability to sell the radiology workstation. Not anymore is now very much the same between the major players in the PACS market. How these features work together distinguishes different radiology workstations. Integration (with the PACS/Radiology Information System (RIS) systems, with the 3D tool, Reporting Tool etc.), usability (user specific preferences, advanced display protocols, smart activation of tools etc.) and efficiency (what is the output a radiologist can generate with the workstation) are now core factors for selecting a workstation. This paper discusses these new trends in radiology workstation design. We demonstrate the importance of the interaction between the PACS vendor (software engineers) and the customer (radiologists) during the radiology workstation design. We focus on iterative aspects of the workstation development, such as the presentation of early prototypes to as many representative users as possible during the software development cycle and present the results of a survey of 8 radiologists on designing a radiology workstation.
The goal is to provide a smooth, efficient and automatic display for interpretation of medical images by using a new generation of hanging protocols (HPs). HPs refer to a set of rules defining the way images are arranged on the computer screen immediately after opening a case. HPs usually include information regarding placement of the sequences, viewing mode, layout, window width and level (W/L) settings, zoom and pan. We present the results of a survey of 8 radiologists on (1) the necessity of using HPs, (2) the applicability of a hierarchical organization of HPs and (3) the number of HPs required for interpretation. We discuss some limitations and challenges associated with the HP including automatic placement of the series on the screen despite non-standard series labeling, generation of pseudo-series, creation of the 'study context' and identification of relevant priors, and image display standardization with automatic orientation and shuttering. The paper also addresses the HP selection based on the workstation's hardware such as number and type of monitors, size of the study, and presence of image processing routines tailored to the information needs and level of expertise of particular users. Our 'heads-up' approach is meant to free the user's conscious processing for reasoning such as detection of patterns so allowing for the execution of the tasks in an efficient, yet highly adaptive manner, sensitive to shifting concepts. Automation of routine tasks is maximized through the creation of shortcuts and macros embedded in features like multi-stage HP.
A ground-based instrument for measurement of perturbations of the rotational temperature and vertical column emission rate of the O<SUB>2</SUB> atmospheric nightglow layer at 94 km and the OH Meinel layer at 86 km is described with special emphasis on its suitability as a remote field instrument. Ground-based instruments are needed in the detailed study of planetary scale dynamic effects in the upper atmosphere because they show detailed perturbation development in both solar and universal time that is missed by satellite-borne instruments. Ground-based instruments must be stable, accessible to but not dependent upon operator interaction, and inexpensive. The technique of interference filter spectral imaging has shown itself to satisfy these requirements when embodied in the instrument MORTI, a mesopause oxygen rotational temperature imager. SATI represents a complete re-design of MORTI in order to make it more flexible for ground-based networks. In particular, the cryogenic cooling was replaced by thermo-electric cooling, removing the requirement for daily attention, an OH channel was added that will allow comparison of perturbation amplitudes at two significantly different altitudes, and real-time temperature and emission rate readout was incorporated into the revised software.