News and Events
Recent events and information regarding our research, publications, proposals, awards, technical directions, news releases, and conferences will be posted here on a regular basis ...
ISMV / UTHSC Attend Conferences on Retina Research
Drs. Ken Tobin and Ed Chaum and Mr. Tom Karnowski attended two important conferences in April and May related to vision research and telemedicine. The first meeting was the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, from April 30-May 4 where Ken Tobin and Ed Chaum presented a program overview of the National Eye Institute R01 grant awarded to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and ORNL in September 2005. The second meeting was the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) Annual meeting in San Diego, CA, from May 7-10. The ATA meeting focused on clinical and business issues related to telemedicine. Ken Tobin and Tom Karnowski gave presentations at the ATA on new methods for the detection of important anatomic structures in retinal imagery and the overall goal of providing a telemedicine capability to improve remote, low-cost, high-throughput detection of diabetic retinopathy in susceptible patients.
SPIE Medical Imaging Conference
Dr. Ken Tobin and Ms. Priya Govindasamy attended the SPIE Medical Imaging, Feb 11-16, in San Diego, CA. Ms. Govindasamy presented a poster titled "Characterization of the Optic Disc in Retinal Imagery using a Probabilistic Approach." Abstract: The application of computer based imaging to the diagnosis of retinal disease is rapidly becoming a reality. Advances in the imaging of ocular anatomy and pathology can now provide data to diagnose and quantify specific diseases such as diabetic retinopathy (DR). Visual disability and blindness have a profound socioeconomic impact upon the diabetic population and DR is the leading cause of new blindness in working-age adults in the industrialized world. Robust automation is required to achieve productive computer-based screening of large populations. Through this research we are developing automation methods for locating and characterizing important structures in the human retina such as the optic disc, macula, and the vascular arcades. We will present results for the automatic detection of the optic disc using red-free fundus photography. Our method relies on the accurate segmentation of the vasculature of the retina and spatial probability distributions describing the vascular density, average thickness, and average orientation of in relation to the position of the optic disc. Understanding the location and morphology of these and other structures - such as dot hemorrhages, cotton wool spots, drusen, and exudates - is required to develop effective medical screening processes for large populations.
ORNL, UT unite to fight blindness
By Knoxville News Sentinel staff February 21, 2005
OAK RIDGE - Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee are adapting proven technologies to combat blindness.
The project is centered on an ORNL technology developed years ago to sort and retrieve similar images in large databases. It has been applied successfully in the semiconductor industry to scan thousands of tiny devices for manufacturing flaws.
Now the image-retrieval technology is being combined with other high-tech analytical tools to help in the diagnosis and treatment of blinding eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, according to information released by ORNL.
The Oak Ridge lab is working with Dr. Edward Chaum, an ophthalmologist and professor of retinal diseases at the UT Health Science Center in Memphis.
ORNL said the research team plans to use digital retinal photography and optical coherence tomography, which can evaluate living tissue without damage, to take images and quantify the disease-related changes taking place in the retina.
Oak Ridge researchers, headed by Ken Tobin of the Engineering Science and Technology Division, will assemble a database of thousands of images representing hundreds of diagnosed human patients and retinal diseases. Chaum provided the images.
"This is a necessary step to support developing our statistical feature descriptions for image indexing, retrieval and diagnosis," Tobin said in information distributed to the news media.
Ultimately, the team said this project should be a benefit not only for diagnosing and treating blinding eye diseases but also for developing new biomedical imaging and "telemedicine."
Chaum said in a prepared statement: "With 180 million people worldwide either blind or at risk of becoming blind, this research has a chance to make a profound effect on people's lives. By developing a computer diagnosis system to improve early detection of eye disease by non-experts and through telemedicine, we can potentially treat or prevent up to 80 percent of blindness."
The project began in June 2004.