medical imagingMost medical imaging technologies in widespread use today provide relatively low-resolution, black and white, 2-dimensional images that require significant training to interpret and understand.

However, new technologies are being developed that are going to revolutionize medical imaging, allowing 3-dimensional, color images to be obtained. Some of those technologies can even yield video images in real time.

A company based in New Zealand, MARS Bioimaging, is commercializing a technology that was originally developed for CERN for use in particle physics experiments. The spectral x-ray scanner can both measure the x-ray energy being applied to it and count photons at the same time. That in turn provides the data allowing the instrument to  identify different tissue types, contrast agents and even drugs and nanoparticles. You can see the results in images published on the MARS Bioimaging website.

I suspect that these new medical imaging technologies are going to have a profound effect on medicine in the very near future.