Digital signal processing refers to the use of digital machines to process various information and perform multiple activities such as computers to perform a large number of operations through signal processing. The signals that are usually treated in this particular form is a sequence of numbers in which a given sample is represented in a variable that is continuous. It could be a domain such as space, frequency or time. Digital signal processing can involve operations that are non-linear or linear. Digital signal processing analyzes and modifies a signal to improve its efficiency and optimize its performance. It applies different computational and mathematical algorithms to convert to digital signals to get a signal that is of a better quality as compared to the original one (Lynn & Fuerst, 2007).
The origin digital signal Processing can be based back in the 1960s and 1970s since it is when the digital computers were first experienced. It was limited to only a few people since during this time the computers were expensive. There were four main areas that effort was put to pioneer the use of the digital processing which included when the national security was at risk, where data was irreplaceable, medical imaging and where a vast amount of money could be made. The digital signal processing reached most people through the use of compact disc players, mobile phones, and electronic voice mail. Digital signal processing is usually differentiated from other areas that exist in a computer science through the data or signals that it uses since they are unique. The signals usually originate in the form of sensory data from the real world. The signals could be in the form of visual images, sound waves, and seismic vibrations. It tends to assist in achieving a variety of objectives and goals which include the enhancement of visual images, generation, and recognition of speech as well as compression of data to enhance its transmission and storage (Gaydecki, 2005).
Digital signal processing and medical imaging are two technological advancements that have merged efficiently and raised the standards of the healthcare services that are provided. It has led to the patients being treated better and hence assisting in the offering of a better quality of life. The medical images applications that will be discussed in this essay include x-ray, Ultrasound, computed tomography, Magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear medicine which are subjected to the technique of digital image processing such as image compression, feature extraction, and image enhancement. Image enhancement refers to the process in which the quality of the image is improved; image compression assists the users to be able to store a given data and information in a lesser memory space while the feature extraction helps in classification of medical images (Gopi, 2013).
A computed tomography scan uses a combination of many X-rays that are computer processed. The X-rays are usually taken using various angles to get cross-sectional pictures and images of the targeted areas. When carrying out the CT process the detector and the emitter are usually positioned on a level of one hundred and eighty degrees apart and rotated in a vertical circle around the target.A beam is usually produced by the emitter while the energy that is being transmitted through the body is detected by the detector and then it is processed (Mamourian, 2013).
This application is of great benefit since it helps the user or physician to be able to view the inside of the targeted area without cutting it. The CT has helped in medical imaging and is supplementing medical ultrasonography. This application has assisted in the screening of various diseases hence helping to prevent their persistence. CT aids in the differentiation of tissues that have varying physical density by less than 1% because it has a high-contrast resolution. The improved resolution of CT has helped in the discovery of diseases and detection of tumors.
The CT scan has an adverse impact on the human beings as it can cause cancer since it damages the body cells which includes the DNA molecules. It can also react negatively to a person causing vomiting, nausea and itching rash.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
The magnetic resonance imaging refers to a type of scan uses strong radio waves, magnetic fields, and a computer to produce detailed images of the inside parts of the body. It is a tube that is made up of strong magnets whereby a person lies on a flatbed that is moved inside it during the scanning process. A person is moved into the scanner with either the feet or head first depending on the part of the body that is supposed to be scanned. MRI helps in the detection of various health problems such as cancer. The issue of using this application for a continued period is that it can result in a backache and weakening of the body cells (Bright, 2012).
Ultrasound refers to a type of imaging which usually uses frequency sound waves that are high to examine the structures and organs that are inside the body of a human being. During the carrying out of the process ultrasound gel and a small transducer is placed on the skin around the area that is to be examined. Sound waves that are of high frequency are then transmitted through the gel from the probe into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and then those sound waves are used to create an image through the use of a computer. This application is essential since it helps in diagnosing the causes of swelling, pain, and infection in the internal body organs. It is mostly used to examine the kidneys, liver, heart, blood vessels and the fetus during the pregnancy period. This type of scan is safe, and no ionizing radiation is used (Szabo, 2017).
The process in which the X-ray images are received have not changed, but the digital signal processing has helped advance the process in which the images are developed, read and sent. In the X-ray, a plate that is phosphorus is usually placed in a buckeye bucket which is situated on a pedestal or inside the X-ray bed, and then the area that is being examined or targeted is an area that is over the plate. The duration of the X-ray radiations is calculated in milliamps while the strength is calculated in kilovolts. During the process, the electrons that have been charged negatively tend to move away from the cathode of the X-ray tube to the plate that has been positively charged. The X-rays are produced when the electrons decelerate after they hit the tungsten plate. The beam of the X-ray is then sent through a glass hole that is usually located in the X-ray tube. The beam usually hit the area that is being targeted and then pass through the surface that is being X-rayed. As a result of the varying densities of the area that is targeted the X-ray usually excite the phosphorus that has been placed on the plate with intensities that are different which leads to the production of a picture or image. After that entire process, the plate is removed and kept in the processor which starts to scan it with the light detecting the energy that has been stored. The energy levels that are identified determines the numerical values that they will be assigned to, and then the processor software produces an image that is in grayscale. The digital information that is gotten after the X-ray process is changed into an industry format and then saved using the various means of information technology (Farncombe, Troy, Iniewski, & Kris, 2017).
Nuclear medicine refers to a form of medical imaging which usually use radioactive material in small amounts to determine how severe a particular disease is or to diagoni9se a given disease. The radioactive materials that are used are referred to as radiotracers which are usually inhaled, swallowed or injected into the bloodstream. The radiotracer moves through the area that is being checked by the physician giving off energy as gamma rays which are usually detected by a computer and a special camera to create the images. This application is of great importance as it helps in the identification of diseases while still in their early stages (Jones, 2013).
In conclusion, the digital signal processors are playing a significant role in the advancement of medical imaging which is helping in the provision of faster diagnoses of different diseases and treatment that is more accurate. Medical imaging is continuing to advance and evolve which is helping improve the level of patient care.
Bright, A. (2012). Planning and positioning in MRI. Sydney, N.S.W: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Farncombe, Troy, Iniewski, & Kris. (2017). Medical Imaging: Technology and Applications. CRC Pr I Llc.
Gaydecki, P. (2005). Foundations of digital signal processing: Theory, algorithms and hardware design. London: Institution of Electrical Engineers.
Gopi, E. S. (2013). Digital signal processing for medical imaging using matlab. New York, NY: Springer.
Jones, D. W. (2013). Practical SPECT/CT in nuclear medicine. London: Springer.
Lynn, P. A., & Fuerst, W. (2007). Introductory digital signal processing with computer applications. Chichester: Wiley.
Mamourian, A. C. (2013). CT imaging: Practical physics, artifacts, and pitfalls. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Szabo, T. H. (2017). Diagnostic ultrasound imaging: Inside out. S.l.: Elsevier Academic press.
Westbrook, C., Roth, C. K., & Talbot, J. (2046). MRI in Practice. Somerset: John Wiley & Sons.
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