Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences


GIFT-Grab: facilitating advanced clinical imaging

26 July 2018

Medical imaging has developed substantially in the last centuries from scantily recognisable finger bones in early X-Rays to miniaturised flexible endoscopes.

gift-grab photo The impressive progress in this field has produced today's cutting-edge data analysis and image processing software. Yet even as we speak, the potential of these new technologies is not fully exploited for clinical imaging methods that rely on real-time video streams from medical devices such as endoscopes.

The divergence stems from the difficulty of combining the low-level programming interfaces required for capturing real-time clinical videos with modern medical imaging technologies, which depend on more advanced programming paradigms. If you would like to watch a proof-of-concept for placental mosaicing in fetal surgery video, please click here.

To alleviate this, GIFT-Grab acts as a bridge, making it possible to process standard clinical videos with the exceptional capabilities of novel scientific computing packages. By providing a highly developer-friendly technology, GIFT-Grab allows the simultaneous use of different resources with more ease. Open-source integration systems like this one make research tools available to more experts, offering them wider variety and flexibility. At the same time, the impact of this approach extends beyond the clinical environment, as video processing is a key element in many fields, including, for example, vehicle surveillance and content-based video identification.

Dr Dzhoshkun Ismail Shakir, who leads the GIFT-Surg software development endeavours, has built GIFT-Grab together with GIFT-Surg researchers, most notably Prof Tom Vercauteren and Luis Herrera. GIFT-Surg is an international collaborative research project whose purpose is to design and engineer imaging methods to provide advanced clinical guidance for interventions performed on babies inside the womb. The idea of GIFT-Grab was conceived shortly after the research project was launched in late 2014. It is one of the building blocks of the GIFT-Surg clinical research software suite, and as such an important element on the way to making a positive impact on healthcare.

More details about this project are available at: http://doi.org/10.5334/jors.169.