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Moving medical imaging to the next level

Part of building a pipeline of Wisconsin-based medical imaging software developers.

Moving medical imaging to the next level by Laura L. Otto

The UWM Research Foundation’s industry-backed Catalyst Grant Program, which has directed more than $3 million toward the commercialization of new technology, is expanding its reach.

A new category of Catalyst Grants, which awards research in advanced computational imaging, began in 2013. Backed by $184,400 from GE Healthcare, the first three projects have been awarded to engineering faculty members.

Ilya Avdeev is developing efficient algorithms that could potentially allow machines such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to adapt to temperature increases and automatically correct them.

Adel Nasiri is exploring power load-leveling techniques that could ease the burden on electrical systems that supply power for imaging technologies, making them less expensive to install and maintain.

Imaging systems no longer use film, but instead use closely packed detector arrays that are expensive and difficult to manufacture. Jun Zhang is investigating whether advanced signal processing techniques can allow manufacturers to use fewer detectors while achieving the same image quality.

The funding is part of a larger effort by GE Healthcare aimed at building a pipeline of Wisconsin-based medical imaging software developers to drive the next generation of health care technology globally.