If you’re old enough to remember ‘flip phones,’ then you might remember the first time phones had cameras. Fast forward 10-20 or so odd years – now, phone cameras have front and back lenses with incredible resolution and the latest image processing technology. Now, imagine taking a picture of a dog with a flip phone from the early 2000s and with another phone released in 2023. The dog remains the same, but the image itself vastly differs. This is what is known as domain shift in medical imaging technology; the equipment and user used to capture the same object differs. Specifically in medicine, hospitals use different brands and specifications of equipment acquired from various vendors, which can depend on their resources and budget.
Can you imagine lying really, really still for at least 15 minutes? That is the reality of patients who need to complete a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Even if you could keep still for that long, a scan could take up to 15 – 90 minutes! Patients need to lie as still as possible so that the MRI machine can capture images used to detect and diagnose diseases. Even the tiniest patient movement can distort the final image that is returned.
Have you ever had to retake a photograph on your phone but the sun was shining way too
brightly in the background, causing the subject to appear with a halo? Maybe your arm just
wasn’t within reach and those 10 family members just couldn’t fit inside the frame, leaving
someone just ever so slightly on the outskirts?