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AlzTools 3D Slicer tool

Identifying Alzheimer’s using space software

Software for processing satellite pictures taken from space is now helping medical researchers to establish a simple method for wide-scale screening for Alzheimer’s disease. Used for analysing magnetic resonance images (MRIs), the AlzTools 3D Slicer tool was produced by computer scientists at Spain’s Elecnor Deimos, who drew on years of experience developing software for ESA’s Envisat satellite to create a programme that adapted the space routines to analyse human brain scans. To select part of a space image, special routines are needed to extract the information. The experience gained by processing raw satellite image data using sophisticated software routines, allows to home in on and identify specific elements. Looking at and analysing satellite images can be compared to what medical doctors have to do to understand scans like MRIs. They also need to identify features indicating malfunctions according to specific characteristics. Adapting the techniques for analysing complicated space images to an application for medical scientists researching into the Alzheimer disease required close collaboration between Deimos and specialists from the Technical University of Madrid. The tool is now used for Alzheimer’s research at the Medicine Faculty at the University of Castilla La Mancha in Albacete in Spain.

Identifying Alzheimer’s using space software
Technology Transfer
Priel Manes; Cornelis Eldering