Just before the Summer of 1998, a new two year project has been launched, residing under the European Union Esprit Programme and which aims at reconciling the complex worlds of high performance computing (HPC) and computerized tomography (CT). The New Roentgen consortium will try to develop an embedded microprocessor based system for high performance medical CT imaging. The involved partners rely on a lively and interactive feedback relationship with hospital end-users and CT manufacturers to meet the exact requirements for a successful implementation of both the hardware and software platform by the end of May 2000.
All six collaborating institutions and companies have built up a thorough reputation and experience in the fields of software development, image processing, and parallel computing. The project involves experts from the Spanish Sema Group, the Technical University of Athens, the Parsytec Computer company and the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, as well as the Elscint company and the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel. The first stage of New Roentgen principally concentrates on detailed research results. By November 1998, the partners will be ready with both the establishment of the user requirements' list and a profound market analysis for the practical installation of an efficient HP-CT environment.
After the hardware and software platform elements for CT systems have been clearly defined, the project will enter into the design phase. The embedded microprocessor system will comprise adaptive and synthetic aperture signal processing concepts to facilitate the medical image processing of CT scans. By November 1999, the first integration of the signal processor unit with the existing sensor arrangement has to be completed, together with a number of test sets. Once the intended algorithms are up and running, the partners will try and solve the problems which occurred in the previous stages. By the end of February 2000, the necessary parallelization study will have been rounded with concrete and positive results.
At that moment, the New Roentgen system will be submitted to the final validation tests through the introduction of real data. This task will be performed by a selected group of hospitals and CT manufacturers. In three months' time, guidelines will be developed for subsequent product design and commercial exploitation of the project's results. By the end of May 2000, the partners hope to present an efficiently operating HP system for the optimization of image processing performance in relation with existing CT systems. You can check out the New Roentgen home page for more details about the initiative.