State-of-the-art patient management mandates timely and accurate diagnosis. Such diagnostic means include a variety of parameters that can be extracted from physical examinations, from assessing bodily fluids and tissue samples as well as from medical imaging examinations. The latter provide generally non-invasive means of assessing the morphological, functional and metabolic state of patients. A variety of imaging modalities is available today that yield even multidimensional and quantitative parameters.
For years, medical imaging-based diagnoses have been sources from visual assessments of the acquired image information. This works reasonably well for simple diagnostic tasks, such as the presence or absence of a bleeding, a fracture or the location of a lesion. With the increasing sophistication and breadth of scanning options in state-of-the-art imaging modalities, visual assessments have been amended successively and successfully with quantitative parameters, which encompass size and density measurements, but also parametric information on the turnover of radioactively labelled contrast agents. Moreover, the sensitivity of different imaging modalities drives the achievable quantitative accuracy of image-based measurements. With the support of guidelines and standards, image-based quantification has become a standard method of diagnostic assessment of follow-up examinations so as to balance the frequently ubiquitous readings of serial examinations my medical experts.
With the launch of this Editor’s challenge on non-invasive, image-based quantification, we wish to provide a forum to imaging researchers to review the basic concepts of quantification of their modality of choice, to highlight the limitations of quantification (aka resolution, contrast, sensitivity, robustness, etc.) in clinical and clinical research applications and to lay out strategies to better counting statistics, higher signal-to-noise performances and other methodological and algorithmic improvements that yield more stable quantitative information. Finally, we also welcome contributions that shed light on how to best make use of these quantitative measures in lieu of or in addition to pure image information. Therefore, potential topics of interest include:
- Basics of quantitative imaging
- Corrections (and algorithmic updates) of data to derive quantitative information
- Ranges of quantitative operations for different imaging modalities
- Future trends to push the limits of quantification
- Use of quantitative data (vs images) in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches
- Use of validated artificial intelligence support in quantitative diagnosis, etc.
We are keen to receive a wide range of contributions from authors at different levels of their professional career related to bespoke goals of this Research Topic.
This topic solicits contributions from editorial board members of the Medical Physics and Imaging section, as we all as contributors recommended by the Specialty Chief Editors and spontaneous contributions from interested authors. The Specialty Chief Editors of Frontiers in Physics launch a new series of Research Topics to highlight current challenges across the field of Physics. Other titles in the series are
Editor's Challenge in Radiation Detectors and Imaging: Emerging Technologies
Editor’s Challenge in Atomic and Molecular Physics: Applications and Advances in Fundamental Physics
Editor's Challenge in Interdisciplinary Physics: What is Interdisciplinary Physics?
Editor's Challenge in Quantum Engineering and Technology: Economic Impact and Perspectives of Quantum Technologies
Editor's Challenge in Optics and Photonics: Advancing Electronics with Photonics