Four challenges in medical image analysis from an industrial perspective

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Today's medical imaging systems produce a huge amount of images containing a wealth of information. However, the information is hidden in the data and image analysis algorithms are needed to extract it, to make it readily available for medical decisions and to enable an efficient work flow. Advances in medical image analysis over the past 20 years mean there are now many algorithms and ideas available that allow to address medical image analysis tasks in commercial solutions with sufficient performance in terms of accuracy, reliability and speed. At the same time new challenges have arisen. Firstly, there is a need for more generic image analysis technologies that can be efficiently adapted for a specific clinical task. Secondly, efficient approaches for ground truth generation are needed to match the increasing demands regarding validation and machine learning. Thirdly, algorithms for analyzing heterogeneous image data are needed. Finally, anatomical and organ models play a crucial role in many applications, and algorithms to construct patient-specific models from medical images with a minimum of user interaction are needed. These challenges are complementary to the on-going need for more accurate, more reliable and faster algorithms, and dedicated algorithmic solutions for specific applications.

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