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Mammogram Before and After Retinex Image Processing
June 06, 2002
Many digital medical images like the mammogram shown in the "before" panel above suffer from lack of contrast andsharpness, often making it difficult for doctors to make accurate diagnoses of diseases like breast cancer or injuries like bone fractures. However, a newly developed technology called Retinex Image Processing provides new hope to doctors who rely on images to make those diagnoses. The Retinex technology, by automatically enhancing contrast and sharpness (as seen in the "after" panel), will make it much easier for doctors to find and therefore to diagnose abnormalities.

Originally developed for remote sensing of the Earth by researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center and Science and Technology Corp. (STC), this new image enhancement technology has many potential medical applications, along with many other potential uses in science, industry, aerospace studies and the consumer market. For medicine, in particular, it can be used anywhere thatautomatic contrast enhancement and sharpening of images is needed. Potential areas of impact in the medical world include: X-rays, mammograms, computer-assisted tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

image: NASA Langley Research Center

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