Call for Participation: MedVis-Award 2016

The 7th “Karl-Heinz-Höhne Award for Visualization in Medicine” (in short medvis-award) is now accepting submissions. Besides eternal glory, the top contestants of this biannual competition will receive in total 1.000 EUR, donated by BrainLAB AG. You can only apply if you are a young scientist with a diploma thesis or with up to two publications (published or to be reviewed) in the field of medical visualization. Does this sound like you or someone you know? Find out more about the award here and check out previous winners here.

The submission deadline is the 4th of May (May the 4th be with you!) and the lucky winners will be receiving their award at VCBM 2016 in Bergen, Norway 🙂

Announcing VCBM & MedViz 2016!

It’s no secret the Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine (VCBM) is one of my favorite events for some years already, all medical visualization all the time! Since last year, it turned into an annual workshop, which means we get to enjoy another VCBM in 2016 already, from the 7th of September until the 9th. This edition promises to be extra epic for several reasons, outlined below:

  1. It will be in Bergen, Norway. Bergen, for those of you that never visited, is a truly amazing city situated between majestic mountains and a beautiful harbor. You could do worse! “The Gateway to the Fjords of Norway”, people!
  2. Additionally, also speaking from personal experience, the Bergen Vis group is filled with awesome people that do great research.
  3. If this is still not convincing you of the epicness, next year the 10th annual Medviz conference will be held at the same time!

‘So where do I sign up?’ I hear you thinking. The official website describing all the details is here, there is a Facebook page for you to like (if not love!) here and even a Facebook event here!

Live report: VIS 2015 – Rejuvinated Medical Visualization Tutorial

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Steffen Oeltze-Jafra

Steffen Oeltze-Jafra

This year IEEE VIS (the conference formerly known as VisWeek) 2015 takes place in Chicago, also known as the “Windy City”. On the first day, I attended a very interesting tutorial about medical visualization entitled “Rejuvenated Medical Visualization”. This tutorial was opened by Steffen Oeltze-Jafra, the organizer of this event. He welcomed the audience and introduced the other speakers in the tutorial: Anders Ynnerman, Stefan Bruckner and Helwig Hauser.

Continue reading

Conference Report: EG VCBM 2015 Chester (UK)

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine (VCBM) 2015 conference for the third and potentially, but not hopefully, last time. This year it was held in Chester (UK) at The Riverside Innovation Centre at the University of, you guessed it, Chester! In this conference report I will summarize some personal highlights. Repeating last year’s tradition, I again tweeted a picture for almost every talk. I still don’t think Twitter is really gaining traction among the scivis community, and I wonder what it would take to change it (or if it even needs to change ^^). As every year, given the theme of the conference almost every talk is relevant to our medical visualization interests, but I would like to briefly summarize only a couple of them here. Check the full list of papers and posters presented here if this is not enough to satiate your VCBM-craving-needs. Continue reading

Advanced Medical Visualization tutorial at MICCAI 2015!

(Cross-posted from medvisbook.com: The go-to resource for all things related to the book ‘Visual Computing for Medicine – Second Edition’. Original post written by Charl Botha.)

Bernhard Preim (University of Magdeburg, DE; author of and driving force behind the MedVis book) and Anna Vilanova (Delft University of Technology, NL) are organizing a tutorial on Advanced Medical Visualization at MICCAI 2015, one of the most important technical medical imaging conferences in the world today.

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Judging by the list of topics and especially the list of speakers, I expect that this is going to be a great tutorial. If you’re going to MICCAI 2015, don’t miss this!

VCBM 2014 Vienna (Austria) – Call for papers and posters!

The “Call for Papers and Posters” for VCBM (AKA Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine) 2014 has been released! VCBM is an excellent venue for medical visualization work and this year it will be held in Vienna, Austria.

The deadline for full paper submission is June 19 and the posters need to be submitted by August 7. Don’t miss this opportunity to present your work at this excellent location and please take a look at this website for more details. In other news: did you know our website also features a conference calendar that you can add to your personal calendar?

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Start submitting those papers and posters for VCBM 2014!

VIS 2013 Atlanta Conference Report

(We are very thankful that Dr. Steffen Oeltze from the University of Magdeburg Visualization Group could write this short report on the medical visualization-related papers at IEEE VIS 2013 for us.)

I was very happy to see that in 2013, the IEEE Vis conference hosted again a separate session on biomedical visualization. On top of the five talks given in this session, five more interesting talks, also related to MedVis, were distributed over the conference program. Before the event started, I considered it a good omen that the inwards of the conference hotel looked like a gigantic corpus with the conference attendees accommodated along the costal arches.

Images are courtesy of Helwig Hauser ©2013.

Images are courtesy of Helwig Hauser ©2013.

The session on biomedical visualization was opened by Jan Kretschmer from the FAU Erlangen and Siemens Healthcare Computed Tomography, Forchheim, Germany. He gave a talk on the interactive patient-specific modeling of vasculature by means of sweep surfaces. He showed how vascular segmentations may be polished in a fast, interactive, and intuitive way such that high-precision models for blood flow simulations are generated on the fly. The modeling approach is robust, eligible for clinical on-site application, and it delivers smooth high quality results.

Xin Zhao from Stony Brook University presented a novel area-preservation mapping/flattening method using the optimal mass transport technique. Compared to previous methods, the size and area of each fold component are preserved facilitating quantitative analyses. Two interesting and very relevant applications from a medical point of view were presented: brain surface flattening and colon flattening. In the former, the correct detection and quantification of brain folds is crucial. Traditional approaches induce severe area distortions and therefore hamper these tasks. In colon flattening, the detection and measurement of polyps benefit from the new method.

A tailor-made algorithm for colon flattening was presented by Krishna Chaitanya Gurijala from Stony Brook University. In contrast to previous approaches, the algorithm is shape-preserving and robust to topological noise. It dispenses denoising the data as a pre-processing step and instead replaces the original Euclidean metric of the colon surface with a heat diffusion metric that is insensitive to topological noise. Virtual colonoscopy greatly benefits from the new approach since shape and area of polyps are preserved.

Thomas Auzinger from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria presented Curved Surface Reformation (CSR) for visualizing a vessels’ interior by generating a view-dependent cut surface through the vasculature. The approach is an advancement compared to Curved Planar Reformation (CPR) and Centerline Reformation (CR) since it handles unrestricted vessel orientation and view direction, it provides a good visibility of the vessels and the surrounding tissue, and it produces results at interactive frame rates. CSR even copes with occlusions of different parts of the vasculature.

Johanna Beyer from Harvard University, Cambridge (previously with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia) concluded the biomedical session. She presented a system for the query-guided visual analysis of large volumetric neuroscience data: the ConnectomeExplorer. The system facilitates the integrated visual analysis of volume data, segmented objects, connectivity information, and additional meta data. Powerful query algebra allows neuroscientists to pose domain-specific questions on the data in an intuitive manner. Johanna’s presentation was completed by an impressive demonstration of the systems performance in typical use-case scenarios.

Moritz Ehlke from the Zuse Institute Berlin presented an approach to render virtual X-ray projections of deformable tetrahedral meshes that runs very fast on the GPU. The purpose of generating these projections is the reconstruction of 3D anatomy from a single or a few 2D X-ray images. In an iterative optimization process, the tetrahedral mesh of a statistical shape and intensity model of an anatomical structure is transformed, such that it represents plausible candidates for a patient-specific shape and density distribution. Each transformation result is then converted to a virtual X-ray projection, whose X-ray attenuation is finally compared to the clinical 2D X-ray. The best candidate provides a plausible representation of 3D anatomy which was demonstrated for the pelvic bone.

Bret Jackson from the University of Minnesota presented a prop-based, tangible interface for 3D interactive visualization of thin fiber structures. He demonstrated the exploration of fiber orientations in second-harmonic generation microscopy of collagen fibers by means of a paper prop, a depth sensing camera, and a low-cost 3D display. The paper prop is tracked and the visualization is restricted to fibers oriented in the direction specified by the prop, i.e. the user. Different gestures, one- and two- handed, are supported for filtering fibers, adjusting the fiber similarity threshold, slicing the volume, and rotating or rolling the volume.

Benjamin Köhler from the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany gave a talk on the semi-automatic vortex extraction in 4D PC-MRI cardiac blood flow data by means of line predicates. The relation of blood flow patterns, e.g., vortices, and vascular pathologies is currently a hot topic in cardiovascular research. Benjamin compared various vortex extraction methods to determine the most suitable one for cardiac blood flow. He integrated several dedicated flow visualization techniques and the vortex computation in a system that is fully implemented on the GPU to provide real-time feedback. The system was demonstrated based on ten datasets with different pathologies like coarctations, Tetralogy of Fallot and aneurysms and evaluated at the Heart Center Leipzig. A video is available here.

Adrian Maries from the University of Pittsburgh presented GRACE: A visual comparison framework for integrated spatial and non-spatial geriatric data. These high-dimensional data span volumetric images and variables such as age, gender or walking speed. Their concurrent analysis is supported by a multiple coordinated view system comprising volume rendering panels, dendogram panels, and a Kiviat graph. Techniques from statistics are integrated to quantify potential neurology-mobility connections. The usefulness of the framework for generating and refining hypotheses was demonstrated on two case studies. In the paper, the authors report their lessons learned from designing visualizations for concurrently analyzing spatial and non-spatial data. Check the videos here.

Thomas Schultz from the University of Bonn, Germany gave a very good talk on the application of spectral clustering to medical image analysis. He showed a system that makes this powerful and versatile technique more accessible to users via an open-box approach, in which an interactive system visualizes the involved mathematical quantities, suggests clustering parameter values, and provides immediate feedback to support the required decisions, e.g., on the number of clusters. The system further supports the filtering of outliers and the recording of user actions and their translation to other data containing the same structures. Thomas demonstrated the system based on chest CT and brain MRI data.