What is an Embedded Vision System?
Embedded vision systems are small parts of larger operating systems that perform one or two specific tasks. They’re based on microcontrollers or microprocessors and are already widely used by ordinary people every day. Traffic signals, digital watches, and avionic equipment all use embedded vision systems.
Embedded vision systems are also being leveraged at hospitals and research centers throughout the country to reduce human error, improve efficiency, and increase survival rates.
Below, we’ll discuss some of the most exciting ways embedded vision is used in healthcare today, why the healthcare industry has adopted embedded vision and some possibilities for the future.
Embedded Vision Applications in Healthcare
One of the most common ways embedded systems are used at healthcare companies is to store data. They choose to use embedded systems because healthcare applications typically require solutions that can operate in chaotic conditions with steep temperature changes and heavy vibrations. Embedded systems are highly durable and rarely malfunction in these conditions.
Embedded vision systems can also help medical professionals monitor vital signs. For example, they help amplify sounds from stethoscopes and enhance the effectiveness of imaging systems.
Pacemakers, CPAP machines, and glucose monitors use embedded systems as well. These biomedical sensors empower doctors to keep track of their patient's health remotely and provide care through telemedicine.
Before embedded vision, ophthalmologists were forced to use rudimentary camera technology that only took pictures of the inner parts of the eye. The doctor would then have to analyze these images on their own to find diseases of the eye. However, thanks to embedded vision, ophthalmologists can now create high-res images of the eye and overlay them with analytical data. Doctors use this data and these images to develop optimized blueprints for surgery they perform themselves or with the help of an automated surgical robot.
Additionally, embedded vision has advanced clinical testing and clinical testing devices. Before these advances, it often took weeks to get the results of a blood or genetic test. However, embedded vision allows clinics to return results for these tests in a matter of hours. Embedded vision systems work in concert with chemical analysis to expedite the testing process and make care more efficient.
Embedded vision systems can also identify neurological disorders. Slight trembling, which the patient themselves may not notice, can be detected by embedded vision systems. This means disorders like Lou Gehrig’s disease and Parkinson’s can be caught earlier, giving patients better treatment.
Embedded vision can provide automated image analysis for endoscope systems, which used to only produce unenhanced, low-resolution images. This lack of detail leads to overlooked clues and false diagnoses. However, embedded vision systems can distinguish among tissues, highlight unusual features, and overlay data onto images in real-time.
Embedded vision can also scan doctors’ hands before entering the operating room to ensure their hands are adequately clean and will not endanger the patient.
Why Does the Healthcare Industry Use Embedded Vision?
Unlike people, embedded vision systems do not get tired or distracted. They can operate in rooms with extreme temperatures and overlay crucial data onto medical images. They can also view a patient’s tissue with much more detail than the human eye can. All of these abilities make embedded vision the perfect tool for the healthcare industry. Doctors can use this cutting-edge tool to diagnose health problems and track treatment progress more accurately. Embedded systems make life easier for doctors and improve care for patients.
Possibilities for the Future
Embedded vision advancements will continue to aid the healthcare industry in treating patients. Higher-resolution imaging will result in faster and more accurate recommendations from doctors. In time, doctors will be able to consistently provide the correct diagnosis and treatment on the first attempt.
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