Path Found to a Combined MRI and CT Scanner

Omni-tomography could add together the advantages of several medical imaging technologies

4 min read
Path Found to a Combined MRI and CT Scanner
Image: Mehau Kulyk/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

A technology that better targets an X-ray imager’s field of view could allow various medical imaging technologies to be integrated into one. This could produce sharper, real-time pictures from inside the human body, says a researcher who hopes to one day build such a unified imager.


Ge Wang, the director of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Biomedical Imaging Cluster, in Troy, N.Y., calls his vision omni-tomography. Mixing and matching imaging techniques, such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and single-photon emission computed tomography, could improve biomedical research and facilitate personalized medicine, says Wang, an IEEE Fellow.


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Are You Ready for Workplace Brain Scanning?

Extracting and using brain data will make workers happier and more productive, backers say

11 min read
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A photo collage showing a man wearing a eeg headset while looking at a computer screen.
Nadia Radic
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Get ready: Neurotechnology is coming to the workplace. Neural sensors are now reliable and affordable enough to support commercial pilot projects that extract productivity-enhancing data from workers’ brains. These projects aren’t confined to specialized workplaces; they’re also happening in offices, factories, farms, and airports. The companies and people behind these neurotech devices are certain that they will improve our lives. But there are serious questions about whether work should be organized around certain functions of the brain, rather than the person as a whole.

To be clear, the kind of neurotech that’s currently available is nowhere close to reading minds. Sensors detect electrical activity across different areas of the brain, and the patterns in that activity can be broadly correlated with different feelings or physiological responses, such as stress, focus, or a reaction to external stimuli. These data can be exploited to make workers more efficient—and, proponents of the technology say, to make them happier. Two of the most interesting innovators in this field are the Israel-based startup InnerEye, which aims to give workers superhuman abilities, and Emotiv, a Silicon Valley neurotech company that’s bringing a brain-tracking wearable to office workers, including those working remotely.

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