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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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Research Project: Medical Displays

Over the last few years, the performance of electronic display devices in medical imaging systems has improved considerably due in part to the availability of advanced designs of liquid crystal displays developed for consumer markets. However, the minimum display specifications required for given medical applications are still not well understood by the community. This is true not only for the high-end displays used in screening mammography systems, but also for display systems used across radiology modalities as well as displays for clinical photographs, telemedicine, histology, endoscopy, ophthalmology, pathology, and dermatology. The purpose of this project is to develop measurement and modeling methods for the performance assessment of display devices used in medical imaging systems.  These methodologies are needed to determine the requirements for new medical display products being submitted to FDA as independent submissions or as part of a medical imaging system.  In addition, these methods need to be applicable to novel display approaches under development by academia and industry, including several distinct technologies with a broad range of light-emitting and light-modulating structures. Examples of novel concepts include high-frame-rate addressing of liquid crystal arrays for dynamic displays, multi-primary color displays for expanded gamut, organic light-emitting diodes for high dynamic range and improved image quality in medium and small formats, stereoscopic, and 16-million-pixel devices. Another goal of this project is to investigate, using the methodologies developed for performance assessment, limitations of current and emerging display technologies using prototypes and simulation experiments. This effort will continue to lead the development of consensus between industry, national expert groups, and professional organizations, and will continue to provide major contributions to standards for medical displays.


An observer is positioned to perform the experiment with the help of a chin rest.
An observer is positioned to perform the experiment with the help of a chin rest. In real-time during the experiment, an eye-tracking module is used to record the observer's gaze location. This particular experiment aims at quantifying the effect of veiling glare in detection tasks (see Choi et al., Proc of the SID, 416-419, 2011).