Comprehensive, powerful, efficient, intuitive: A new software framework for clinical imaging applications

Kurt E. Augustine, David R. Holmes, Dennis P. Hanson, Richard A. Robb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


One of the greatest challenges for a software engineer is to create a complex application that is comprehensive enough to be useful to a diverse set of users, yet focused enough for individual tasks to be carried out efficiently with minimal training. This "powerful yet simple" paradox is particularly prevalent in advanced medical imaging applications. Recent research in the Biomedical Imaging Resource (BIR) at Mayo Clinic has been directed toward development of an imaging application framework that provides powerful image visualization/analysis tools in an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. It is based on two concepts very familiar to physicians - Cases and Workflows. Each case is associated with a unique patient and a specific set of routine clinical tasks, or a workflow. Each workflow is comprised of an ordered set of general-purpose modules which can be re-used for each unique workflow. Clinicians help describe and design the workflows, and then are provided with an intuitive interface to both patient data and analysis tools. Since most of the individual steps are common to many different workflows, the use of general-purpose modules reduces development time and results in applications that are consistent, stable, and robust. While the development of individual modules may reflect years of research by imaging scientists, new customized workflows based on the new modules can be developed extremely fast. If a powerful, comprehensive application is difficult to learn and complicated to use, it will be unacceptable to most clinicians. Clinical image analysis tools must be intuitive and effective or they simply will not be used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2006
Subtitle of host publicationVisualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display
StatePublished - 2006
EventMedical Imaging 2006: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 12 2006Feb 14 2006

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2006: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Clinical Application
  • Image Analysis
  • Image Display
  • Visualization
  • Workflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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