MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGE VIEWING

and the

"SCREEN REAL ESTATE" PROBLEM

 

ABSTRACT

 

Medical image analysis is shifting from current film-oriented light screen environments to computer environments that involve viewing and analyzing large sets of images on a computer screen. In particular, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies involve multiple images and require a very large display area. This thesis examines the presentation of MRI studies on a relatively small computer screen in a manner that best suits the task of MRI viewing and the needs of the radiologist. By working interactively with MRI radiologists and observing their actions during MRI analysis in the traditional light screen environment the following key issues were determined: user control over image size, position and grouping, navigation of images and image groups, and trading off detail in context. These "screen real estate" issues are extensively explored in the literature but not consistently applied to medical image presentation. We apply existing techniques as well as variations of existing techniques to obtain an initial design proposal. An appropriate variable scaling layout algorithm was chosen to support the detail in context requirements along with several algorithmic variations which better suit the MRI specific requirements proposed. A user feedback study was then conducted to determine preference and degree of user enthusiasm to these proposals. The results were encouraging and response to the scaling layout pointed to improvements. A new variant of the algorithm was created to address these results. This work shows that existing guidelines with respect to presentation of information and other user interface issues, can be applied to the MRI viewing situation. We believe that by applying these principals along with existing layout adjustment and magnification techniques it is possible to improve upon the current form of medical image presentation found in existing commercial systems. The response to our user study both confirms this and indicates direction towards continued iterations of the work.