We analyze localized textural consistencies in high-resolution Micro CT scans of coronary arteries to identify the appearance of diagnostically relevant changes in tissue. For the efficient and accurate processing of CT volume data, we use fast algorithms associated with three-dimensional so-called isotropic multiresolution wavelets that implement a redundant, frame-based image encoding without directional preference. Our algorithm identifies textural consistencies by correlating coefficients in the wavelet representation.
Proc. SPIE. 5778, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense IV
KEYWORDS: Information fusion, Cognitive modeling, Data modeling, Surveillance, Surveillance systems, Data processing, Telecommunications, Analytical research, Systems modeling, Situational awareness sensors
September 11 2001 attacks and following Anthrax mailings introduced emergent need for developing technologies that can distinguish between man made and natural incidents in the public health level. With this objective in mind, government agencies started a funding effort to foster the design, development and implementation of such systems on a wide scale. But the outcomes have not met the expectations set by the resources invested. Multiple elements explain this phenomenon: As it has been frequent with technology, introduction of new surveillance systems to the workflow equation has occurred without taking into consideration the need for understanding and inclusion of deeper personal, psychosocial, organizational and methodological concepts. The environment, in which these systems are operating, is complex, highly dynamic, uncertain, risky, and subject to intense time pressures. Such 'difficult' environments are very challenging to the human as a decision maker.
In this paper we will challenge these systems from the perspective of human factors design. We will propose employment of systematic situational awareness research for design and implementation of the next generation public health preparedness infrastructures. We believe that systems designed based on results of such analytical definition of the domain enable public health practitioners to effectively collect the most important cues from the environment, process, interpret and understand the information in the context of organizational objectives and immediate tasks at hand, and use that understanding to forecast the short term and long term impact of the events in the safety and well being of the community.
On September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda terrorists committed a savage act against humanity when they used domestic jetliners to crash into buildings in New York City and Washington, DC, killing thousands of people. In October 2001, coming on the heels of this savagery was another act of barbarity, this time using anthrax, not jetliners, to take innocent lives. Each incident demonstrates the vulnerability of an open society, and Americans are left to wonder how such acts can be prevented. Now, Al Qaeda operatives are reportedly regrouping, recruiting, and changing their tactics to distribute money and messages to operatives around the world. Many experts believe that terrorist attacks are inevitable. No city is immune from attack, and no city is fully prepared to handle the residual impact of a potentially ravaging biological or chemical attack. A survey conducted by the Cable News Network (CNN) in January 2002, studied 30 major US cities, ranking them based on 6 statistical indices of vulnerability. Thirteen cities were deemed better prepared than Houston, 10 were in a similar state of preparedness, and only 6 were less prepared than Houston. Here, we discuss the measures which have taken place in Houston to make it a safer place and which plans are needed for future. Houston experience can be used as a model to develop similar plans for other cities nation-wide.
Public health surveillance is the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data regarding a health-related event for use in public health action to reduce morbidity and mortality and to improve health by effective response management and coordination. As new pressures for early detection of disease outbreaks have arisen, particularly for outbreaks of possible bioterrorism (BT) origin, and as electronic health data have become increasingly available, so has the demand for public health situation awareness systems. Although these systems are valuable for early warning of public health emergencies, there remains the cost of developing and managing such large and complex systems and of investigating inevitable false alarms. Whether these systems are dependable and cost effective enough and can demonstrate a significant and indispensable role in detection or prevention of mass casualty events of BT origin remains to be proven. This article will focus on the complexities of design, analysis, implementation and evaluation of public health surveillance and situation awareness systems and, in some cases, will discuss the key technologies being studied in Center for Biosecurity Informatics Research at University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston.
Despite major advances in cardiovascular science and technology during the past three decades, approximately half of all myocardial infarctions and sudden deaths occur unexpectedly. It is widely accepted that coronary atherosclerotic plaques and thrombotic complications resulting from their rupture or erosion are the underlying causes of this major health problem. The majority of these vulnerable plaques exhibit active inflammation, a large necrotic lipid core, a thin fibrous cap, and confer a stenosis of less than 70%. These lesions are not detectable by stress testing or coronary angiography. Our group is exploring the possibility of a functional classification based on physiological variables such as plaque temperature, pH, oxygen consumption, lactate production etc. We have shown that heat accurately locates the inflamed plaques. We also demonstrated human atherosclerotic plaques are heterogeneous with regard to pH and hot plaques and are more likely to be acidic. To develop a nonsurgical method for locating the inflamed plaques, we are developing both IR fiber optic imaging and NIR spectroscopic systems in our laboratory to detect hot and acidic plaque in atherosclerotic arterial walls. Our findings introduce the possibility of an isolated/combined IR and NIR fiber optic catheter that can bring new insight into functional assessment of atherosclerotic plaque and thereby detection of active and inflamed lesions responsible for heart attacks and strokes.
Rupture of atherosclerotic plaques - the main cause of heart attach and stokes - is not predictable. Hence even treadmill stress tests fail to detect many persons at risk. Fatal plaques are found at autopsies to be associated with active inflammatory cells. Classically, inflammation is detected by its swelling, red color, pain and heat. We have found that heat accurately locates the dangerous plaques that are significantly warmer then atherosclerotic plaques without the same inflammation. In order to develop a non-surgical method of locating these plaques, an IR fiber optic imaging system has been developed in our laboratory to evalute the causes and effect of heat in atherosclerotic plaques. The fiber optical imagin bundle consists of 900 individual As2S3 chalcogenide glass fibers which transmit IR radiation from 0.7 micrometers 7 micrometers with little energy loss. By combining that with a highly sensitive Indium Antimonide IR focal plane array detector, we are able to obtain thermal graphic images in situ. The temperature heterogeneity of atherosclerotic plaques developed in the arteral of the experimental animal models is under study with the new device. The preliminary experimental results from the animal model are encouraging. The potential of using this new technology in diagnostic evaluation of the vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques is considerable.
The use of bio-chemiluminescence immunoassay (BL/CLI) technology for molecular and cellular characterization is rapidly evolving. The excellent selectivity of this method can be exploited to identify the presence and distribution of specific cells. Current work involves the advancement of the required methods and technologies for application to the analysis of vascular wall surfaces. In this effort, various enzyme-linked antibodies are being explored which can be directed to cell surface antigens producing a luminogenic reaction. To aid in the analysis of this light emission, a custom high resolution digital imaging system which couples a multi-megapixel CCD with a specially designed image intensifier is under development. This intensifier system has high spatial resolution and excellent sensitivity in the wavelength region of the candidate BL/CL emissions. The application of this imaging system to BL/CLI requires unique performance characteristics and specialized optical design. Component level electro-optical tests of the imaging system will be presented along with design considerations for an eventual catheter based instrument. Initial in vitro experiments focused on the performance limits of the optical system in discriminating candidate luminogenic reactions. The main objective of these tests is the identification of suitable enzyme catalyzed systems for ultimate application to in vivo vascular tissue and cell diagnosis.