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Facebook Aims to Make MRI Scans Faster Using AI With New York University

Advanced image reconstruction might enable ultra-low-dose CT scans suitable for vulnerable populations, such as pediatric patients, Facebook said

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Facebook can do better to retain new mothers: Ex-data scientist. Pixabay
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Facebook has forged a partnership with the New York University (NYU) on a research project that aims to make magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans up to 10 times faster by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

If the project, called fastMRI, yields the desired results, it will make MRI technology available to more people, expanding access to this key diagnostic tool, Facebook said in a blog post on Monday.

MRI scanners provide doctors and patients with images that typically show a greater level of detail related to soft tissues — such as organs and blood vessels — than is captured by other forms of medical imaging.

But they are relatively slow, taking anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour, compared with less than a second or up to a minute, respectively, for X-ray and CT scans.

These long scan times can make MRI machines challenging for young children, as well as for people who are claustrophobic or for whom lying down is painful.

Additionally, there are MRI shortages in many rural areas and in other countries with limited access, resulting in long scheduling backlogs.

Making MRI scanners faster has several benefits, including increased access to these devices for patients.

Sufficiently accelerated MRI devices could also reduce the amount of time patients must hold their breath during imaging of the heart, liver, or other organs in the abdomen and torso.

Increased speed could let MRI machines fill the role of X-ray and CT machines for some applications, allowing patients to avoid the ionising radiation associated with those scans.

MRI Scans
Making MRI scanners faster has several benefits, including increased access to these devices for patients. Pixabay

This NYU-Facebook project will initially focus on changing how MRI machines operate.

Currently, scanners work by gathering raw numerical data in a series of sequential views and turning the data into cross-sectional images of internal body structures that doctors then use to evaluate a patient’s health.

The larger the data set to be gathered, the longer the scan will take.

Using AI, it may be possible to capture less data and therefore scan faster, while preserving or even enhancing the rich information content of magnetic resonance images.

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The key is to train artificial neural networks to recognise the underlying structure of the images in order to fill in views omitted from the accelerated scan, Facebook said.

The Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) group, believes that though this project will initially focus on MRI technology, its long-term impact could extend to many other medical imaging applications.

For example, the improvements afforded by AI have the potential to revolutionise CT scans as well.

Advanced image reconstruction might enable ultra-low-dose CT scans suitable for vulnerable populations, such as pediatric patients, Facebook said. (IANS)

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Dell EMC Announces New Solutions Based on Artificial Intelligence

According to an IDC estimate, 40 per cent of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services by 2019

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To help organisations realise the full potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Dell EMC on Tuesday announced new solutions designed to simplify the AI environment and accelerate its adoption.

With the new “Ready Solutions for AI”, organisations no longer have to individually source and piece together their own solutions, Dell EMC said in a statement.

Instead, they can rely on a Dell EMC-designed and validated set of best-of-breed technologies for software – including AI frameworks and libraries – with compute, networking and storage, the company added.

Dell EMC said its portfolio of services, including consultation, deployment and support, among others, helps customers drive the rapid adoption and optimisation of their AI environments.

“There’s no doubt that AI is the future, and our customers are preparing for it now,” said Tom Burns, Senior Vice President, Networking and Solutions, Dell EMC.

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Dell EMC releases new AI solutions for digital transformation. Pixabay

“Our goal is to lead the industry with the most powerful and fully-integrated AI solutions. What we’re announcing today allows customers at any scale to start seeing better business outcomes and positions them for AI’s increasingly important role in the future,” Burns added.

According to an IDC estimate, 40 per cent of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services by 2019.

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The new AI solutions from Dell EMC come with specialised designs for Machine Learning (ML) with Hadoop, an ecosystem of open source components, and Deep Learning with Nvidia, a US-based computer chip manufacturer.

Dell EMC, a part of Dell Technologies, enables organisations to modernise, automate and transform their data centre using industry-leading converged infrastructure, servers, storage and data protection technologies. (IANS)