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A search engine for the human body

MIT Technology Review, March 18, 2011

A new search tool developed by researchers at Microsoft indexes medical images of the human body, rather than the Web. On  CT scans, it automatically finds organs and other structures, to help doctors navigate in and work with 3-D medical imagery.

CT scans use X-rays to capture many slices through the body that can be combined to create a 3-D representation. This is a powerful tool for diagnosis, but it's far from easy to navigate, says Antonio Criminisi, who leads a group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, U.K., that is attempting to change that. "It is very difficult even for someone very trained to get to the place they need to be to examine the source of a problem," he says.

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