June 15, 2021

3D Imaging Software – The Vision of Medicine


“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law, Profiles of the Future, 1973.

Are you aware that in today’s world you can visualize the opening and closing of a patient’s mitral valve from a 3D perspective? Do you think this is magic?

There is an explosion of technology in imaging software that today’s physicians can use to watch in 3D and real-time, not only the structure of the body’s complexities but the functioning as well. After all, what brings a patient to the doctor? Malfunction. Malfunction causes pain and organ failure. It can even cause death. Imagine seeing actual anatomy, physiology, and malfunction in action! Imagine the diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities. 3D software is quickly becoming the standard of care for:

  • Presurgical evaluation and planning: incorporating the aesthetics into the repair in dental and cosmetic specialties
  • Surgical/treatment guidance: hand-in-hand with today’s evolving robotic surgery to further reduce recuperation and hospitalization
  • Assessment of treatment response: seeing before and after in 3D gives better accuracy for both
  • Fusion technologies: the human body does not like extra holes, so visualization for more accurate localization of the problem area and accurate biopsy targeting in 3D, assures there will be fewer of them
  • Effective communication of information: data compression that can make imaging travel between doctors and facilities timely and efficiently

According to Clarke’s Third Law, this really is magic! Have a look at these groundbreaking software magicians:

  1. Surgical Planning
  • Preview® Treatment Planning Software by M2S

    The Preview software for 3D modeling can help visualize highly angulated, fenestrated, branched, tortuous vasculature and contrast and non-contrast data. The software demonstrates interactive 3D models for endovascular and aneurism repair.
  • 3D Surgery™ by Dolphin

    Orthodontia and implant surgery can now integrate aesthetics with the function like never before.
  • Ortho View by 3DPrint.com

    Orthopedic pre-operative planning and templating software for joint surgical therapy, replacement, and pediatric deformity strategies.
  1. Treatment Planning
  • Eclipse Treatment Planning System by Varian Medical Systems

    Being an integrated and comprehensive treatment planning system, Eclipse renders precise targeting in radiation treatment techniques such as a photon, FFF beam, proton, and electron external beam, brachytherapy, and Cobalt. This system includes simplified data settings and easy drag and drops functionality that can increase the productivity of clinicians. It helps clinicians to create, import, and optimize plans prior to the treatment.
  1. Diagnosis
  • Allura 3D-RA by Philips

    Allura 3D-RA provides high-speed, high-resolution 3D visualization of vascular pathologies anywhere in the body. When used with Philips Allura FD systems, it can even cover anatomy including cerebral, abdominal, and peripheral vasculature. It features the Reconstructive Zoom Technique that enables high-resolution 3D images to be created for smaller fields of view.
  1. Visualization and Sharing
  • X-FRAME CCD by Medical Expo

    This digital radio/fluoro system with its high resolution, sensitivity, and power processing tools is ideal for visualization, acquisition, and sharing of sophisticated dynamic studies.

The technology that these are based on are the DICOM and JPEG 2000 which are state-of-the-art image compression standards for storage and transmission of medical images.

The delay means worsening patient jeopardy, and JPIP (JPEG 2000 Interactive Protocol) is a compression streamlining protocol that works with JPEG 2000 to produce an image using the least bandwidth required, so as to get imaging to remote locations as quickly as possible.


Software validation is used to demonstrate that the software will function safely and effectively as intended. This is very critical from a regulatory, clinical, and quality systems standpoint. Standards and guidance documents applicable to the 3D imaging software are:

  • NEMA PS 3.1 – 3.20 (2011) Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) Set
  • NEMA PS 3.1 – 3.18 (2008) Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) Set
  • IEC/ISO 10918-1 First edition 1994-02-15 Information Technology – Digital Compression and Coding of Continuous-Tone Still Images: Requirements and Guidelines [Including Technical Corrigendum 1 (2005)]
  • IEC 62304:2006 Medical device software — Software life cycle processes
  • Guidance for the Submission of Premarket Notifications for Medical Image Management Devices, July 27, 2000
  • General Principles of Software Validation; Final Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff, January 11, 2002
  • Guidance for the Content of Premarket Submissions for Software Contained in Medical Devices, May 11, 2005

A magician needs a rabbit and a hat.

What today’s physicians and surgeons need is 3D imaging software.

Perform magic!

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