Perception and Paradigms for Medical Imaging

Dr. Francine Jacobson
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Tuesday, May 17
2:00 - 3:00 pm
SEH Lehman Auditorium, B1220



The introduction of helical CT, allowing imaging of lungs during a single breath-hold provided unprecedented non-invasive visualization of lung parenchyma. Advances in technology required a new paradigm for viewing CT and MR images. My image perception research began with the exploration of stacked image viewing, serving as an observer and as an investigator of features that drew radiologist attention while searching for simulated nodules in known locations. Nodule detection is fundamental to lung cancer screening CT. Multidetector CT technology has continued to increase our understanding of the features of early lung cancer and lung parenchyma. Precision medicine demands attention to many previously overlooked features that have phenotypic significance for disease classification, treatment, and outcome. Quantitative evaluation of lung parenchyma now provides valuable data although subjective evaluation by the expert observer remains important for validation of findings and identification of subtle features that do not lend themselves to quantitative measurement. The potential for lung cancer screening CT to improve health extends beyond cancer to the detection of subtle lung disease and coronary artery calcifications. Radiologists face new challenges for integration of quantitative and qualitative information at a level usually associated with clinical trials for the 9 million Americans who meet current lung cancer screening CT guidelines. It is time for new paradigms in image viewing, assessment of technology, and observer performance that are central tenets of image perception science.



Francine L. Jacobson, MD-MPH piloted the MD-MPH program at the University of Miami School of Medicine receiving both degrees in May, 1986, followed by internship and residency at Maine Medical Center, and fellowship in thoracic radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She joined the faculty in 1992 and currently oversees The Brigham and Women’s Health Care Lung Cancer Screening program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, and Cape Cod Hospital. She served as the initial site PI for NLST, co-chaired the AATS Task Force for Lung Cancer Screening and Surveillance, and currently serves as site radiologist for COPDGene.