In the previous sections, we’ve touched on the ability of the Morsys algorithm to decompose a data set to whatever level of resolution is needed and to further resolve the data as needed. This ability to progressively render a data set has two major advantages compared to current methods, which only allow an image to be viewed once the entire data set has been rendered to whatever level of detail is required.

Quick Adjustments to a View With Lo-Res Data

Often when a user is viewing surfaces from a volumetric data set, she needs to make several adjustments to the view as she zeros in on an area of interest. Using the MRI example again, the user may be looking for an overly dense section of tissue in a lung but is working from a full-body scan. The progressive-rendering ability of the Morsys algorithm will allow her to look at a very rough view of the full body and will progressively refine the image until the user tells the software to stop or change the view. The progressive rendering is a smooth process where the viewer sees the full image at increasing levels of detail, without “tearing” or “cracking” artifacts which are common when viewing an data set at less than maximum resolution with current methods.

Instead of waiting for a full-resolution image of the body to load and then selecting the chest area to view (with another wait time as the current methods recalculates the entire data set, even though only a subset is now being used), the user will be able to quickly see a general shape of the body rendered with only a few hundred or thousand tetrahedra and direct the software to zoom to the desired area, repeating as needed until the area of interest is displayed on the screen. The final image can then be progressively rendered with finer and finer levels of detail as the software continues to make passes over the data set to refine the displayed surface.

Pushing Successively Resolved Data Over a Network

When working over a network, whether because a hospital’s server room is a few hundred feet away, or because the user is a telehealth specialist who is in San Francisco and is manipulating an MRI data set that is stored on a server in northern Alaska, the ability to see the image at a low resolution and make adjustments prior to waiting for a full download and processing, is a true time-saver.

As the use of electronic health record systems continue to expand into medical facilities, and as practitioners are more and more likely to carry mobile devices to access those systems wirelessly, the progressive-rendering feature of the Morsys algorithm becomes more important due to the lower bandwidth nature of wireless connections and the lower processing capacity of mobile computing platforms such as tablets and smartphones.

Volumetric data processing at the speed of light