Researchers have adapted new x-ray technology via Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect

Many researchers have been working to develop a better way to take x-rays, while reducing the level of radiation exposure, to patients. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, have adapted new technology for x-rays, through the use of the Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect.

Radiographers have the task of taking clear images of the patients for doctors to study. However, movement blurs images taken and results in another set of X-Rays needing to be acquired. This results in further radiation exposure. For children, this is a normal occurrence, for they may move around from nervousness or just in general, as kids do. This technology leverages the Kinect’s camera technology, with developed software to measure the thickness of the body parts and detect movement, prior to the image being taken.

Real-time monitoring alerts notify the radiographer that the image could be compromised in quality so that adjustments can be made. The result of this technology and software is reduced exposure to radiation and clearer images for medical use. The benefits of this help all patients and in particular, children. No longer would the use of steel calipers be required to measure body-part thickness, scaring away kids.

There is still a lot to develop and continue to refine for this application, before widespread use, but as Steven Don, MD, associate professor of radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology said, “The goal is to produce high-quality X-ray images at a low radiation dose without repeating images.”

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Do you think the Kinect is best used for other industries, outside of gaming?