Modern image processing is an essential part of medical and life science technology. Reliable machine vision cameras are used not only in the manufacturing of medical and healthcare products, components and equipment for medical technology. Laboratory equipment with integrated cameras and image analytic capability can provide high quality inspection and real time analysis. Digital image acquisition and processing offers a wide spectrum of possibilities in clinical research for investigating, analyzing and diagnosing illnesses.
Highly sensitive digital industrial cameras are used in microscopy, laboratory automation and diagnostic equipment, for example in hematology, pathology, ophthalmology and dentistry and for medical motion analysis, decision support and monitoring of rehabilitation.
Digital image analysis is found in a wide range of optical microscopy application fields such as medical and biological research, cell biology, diagnostics, pharmaceutical testing, or material sciences.
In these applications machine vision cameras are required to provide the highest image quality, outstanding color reproduction and fidelity and a high dynamic range, all in real-time. These prerequisites enable reproducible, detailed observation, differentiation and analysis of the most delicate structures in materials or biological samples, for example in histopathological diagnosis of illnesses and monitoring the course of illnesses.
Today digital cameras are an integral part of systems for optical microscopic, intraoperative visualization and navigation, and for minimally invasive computer- and robot-assisted surgery.
In the field of eye treatment and diagnosis, sensitivity, reproducibility, consistency, long servce life, and high image quality are the major requirements for digital cameras. Machine vision applications are used to survey the visual field, measure the corneal curvature, and determine the refraction and the detailed representation of the ocular fundus. Machine vision cameras are also implemented in medical devices for ophthalmological surgeries, such as a cataract operation.
The latest dentistry technologies rely on digital cameras with high speed and high resolution. Machine vision is in use for representation of the tooth morphology, of the upper and lower jaw and the bite in a minimum of time. Machine vision cameras with small housing and high performance are used in such dental equipment as intraoral scanners and model and impression scanners.
Machine vision cameras are also in use in automated solutions for scientific or medical diagnostic laboratory applications, where high speed, resolution and image quality are required. Dermatology also frequently requires image acquisition and analysis, for early detection of cancer, diagnosing skin lesions, monitoring wound healing processes or for detailed facial skin analysis in cosmetics. Medical diagnostic imaging needs flexibility, mobility, safety and comfort for patients. Medical vision systems are typical in diagnostic endoscopic procedures, mobile digital radiograph systems or systems for monitoring patient positioning and alignment for radiation therapy. Image analysis is also in use in healthcare and medical applications such as telemedicine, three-dimensional body analysis, motion capture analysis and patient monitoring.
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