Formula produces images from EIT scans

Middlesex University academics have helped to develop a mathematical formula that enables images to be built up from Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) scans.

The solution will enable clinicians to scan newborn children’s lungs without needing to expose them to radiation or to transport critically ill infants to scanning facilities.

The breakthrough in Electrical Impedance Tomography scanning, which involves passing a very small electrical current into the body and measuring the resistance, is likely to lead to the development of highly portable and much cheaper alternatives to MRI and CT scanners.

Prof Richard Bayford and Dr Andrew Tizzard of Middlesex University are part of an international team that developed the mathematical formula to create the images from the scanners.

Having set a standard approach that meets the need of clinical evaluation, others can rapidly build on it for whole body scanning. Prototypes of such EIT scanners could be tested in clinics within five years.

Prof Bayford said: ’This method is potentially highly portable, cost effective and doesn’t require the subject to hold their breath like in other imaging. After all, you can’t ask a newborn or indeed the unconscious to hold their breath.’

The mathematical solution to building the images – named GREIT (the Grätz consensus reconstruction algorithm) – has been recognised with the Martin Black Prize, awarded to the best paper published each year in the Institute of Physics and Engineering journal of Physiological Measurement.

From scanning to surgery and superbug control, UK hospitals are trialling potentially revolutionary medical technologies. Click here to read more (subscription required).