Heat Map Medical Image Diagnostic


Ultrasound and other medical imaging devices scan biological structures or tissues of a patient to aid in the diagnosis of serious illnesses such as cancer. Often, clarity and quality of scanned images are suspect due to conditions associated with the patient or the skill of the technician capturing the scanned image and can lead to incorrect or misdiagnosis. Methods to assist in understanding regions of interest in the medical image are helpful in clarifying the elements of images relevant to a diagnosis.

Invention Description:

Dr. Rick Mammone and Dr. Christine Podilchuk, researchers at Rutgers University, have developed a novel method for generation of a heat map used to identify an area of concern in a medical image.

The method receives a medical image with a region of interest (ROI) for a malignant or benign lesion, or a biological structure (for example within a body part) that may be associated with a disease state such as a malignancy. The ROI is partitioned into subregions, and annotations and heat map are created and then overlaid onto the images.

The heat map provides visualization for regions of interest identifying the salient pixels in the image.  Generated annotations provide insight into why a region has been highlighted. For example, the technology might highlight a spiculated edge of a breast lesion to indicate that it is suspicious and should be investigated.

This technology can be bundled with four other related technologies from Dr. Mammone and Dr. Podilchuk to create a complete system for interpreting medical images. The other technologies include:


  • Easy identification of areas of concern
  • Support for images generated by, stored, or captured by imaging devices and a unique ability to capture and enhance medical images on a mobile phone
  • Device and software independent 
  • For diagnosis of a wide array of medical conditions using medical images

Market Applications:

  • Telemedicine / Teleradiology
  • Mobile medical scanning (e.g., mobile ultrasound)
  • Medical Image Solutions, Systems & Software
  • Electronic Medical/Health Systems (EMR/EHR)

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

US Patent 10,290,101; Available for use with new or existing image display/diagnostic applications or within a complete system comprised of additional related technologies from the inventors.  We are seeking licensing and/or industry partners.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Andrea Dick
Associate Director, Licensing
Rutgers University
Digital Health