Healthcare Imaging, from Big Iron to Big Data

July 1, 2017

It’s been almost 12 years since I landed in the world of diagnostic imaging in Healthcare and have been in awe ever since. The collective term of “Big Iron” used to address the space by my colleagues was like riding a giant beast that appealed to the engineer in me. To see this technology help improve patients’ lives made me a party to this noble mission in the industry in general and at Philips Healthcare in particular.

Starting from just understanding what the terms CT, SPECT, PET, CV and MRI meant seemed challenging at first. Appreciating the workings of these machines and the fantastic insights they provide in the patient care cycle was humbling to me even as an outsider without a clinical perspective. I found immense pride in words dropped around me like, “NASA may have machines that are mission critical, we have machines that are life critical!”.

It was quite evident that we were fast approaching the limits of gathering the image, what remained ahead was how deep we could dive into the data. To me, this was truly “Big Data” even before the words became popular. These imaging machines were capable of delivering insights by applying the laws of physics and coaxing answers with some cool mathematics, the Fourier transform was no longer just an idle formula. I appreciated the magic of chemistry in our bodies made up largely of water molecules that allowed interaction with a magnetic field generated in a  super cooled magnet.

My curiosity piqued and led me down paths all around this fascinating world which I will try to share and get insights from more of you around me. Do drop in a line if you are interested, I’m happy to help and discover along with you on this Healthcare journey.

3 thoughts on “Healthcare Imaging, from Big Iron to Big Data”

  1. Absolutely fascinating. I heard the term CT and MRI many years back but realized the importance of these machines only when my father was under treatment for Myeloma. The hospital had acquired a new PET machine and I was told it does wonders in detecting and evaluating the extent of cancer. These are life critical machines without any doubt.


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