Photo Retouching for Medical Photography
22 Apr 2021
Remember the times when the doctor asked you to take an x-ray of your bones? Or when he asked you to take a scan of your organs? These scans are photos taken by sophisticated machines or cameras to check for illness that is not visible to the eyes. The photos can be then retouched to look for implications. These medical images are thoroughly studied for diagnosis and the patient gets treatment accordingly. It also makes sure the patient and the near ones are completely aware of the treatment received using the retouched photos.
What is medical photography?
Medical Photography is used to illustrate illness or disease. This can be used to cure the patient or for research purposes. The photos are taken by professional photographers who have a vast knowledge of photography and medical terminologies. Medical Photography is important as using these photos, doctors or researchers can study and predict the cure. It prevents wrong treatment from the doctor. The medical images can be shown to the patient and approach them about the illness. The retouched photos can be shared with experts for review or suggestions.
Photo Retouching plays an especially important role in Medical Photography. It is useful for medical analysis in a broad spectrum. Healthcare professionals in hospitals use medical photography for 2-D, 3-D, and other imaging for clinical trials. One of the uses is Retinal imaging. It is a digital photo of the inside of the eyes. These photos are then sent to Photo Retouching services for adjustments such as colour correction and enhancement. They are then analyzed for retinal fluid, diabetes, glaucoma, hypertension, etc.
On the other hand, medical photos can be retouched and presented in newspapers, magazines, and blogs. They are published in medical textbooks for medical students to understand. The experience is like lab sessions where the professor teaches the ailment practically. The retouched photos also help researchers to study the disease deeply and use them for further research.
For scientific analysis, retouching is done by adding layers with different filters such as color balance, match color, and smart sharpen. These layers can be labelled and can be studied individually. Spot healing brush is used to highlight and focus on the area of interest. Professional Photo Retouching Services is done on Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine(DICOM) using Adobe Photoshop CS3 for understanding medical photos such as X-rays, CT scans, and radiological photos.
One more use of Photoshop Extended is creating a 3-D rendering of MRI scans. We can use the Slice tool to slice the medical images equally into several layers of the individual scan. Then we create a folder and send all the layers, the photos are stored in order. Now we can create a 3-D model of the sliced layers by clicking the layers menu and selecting 3D/New Volume. The 3-D model can be visualized by rotating on the screen.
The retouched photos can be used in documentaries and movies. The raw medical images are rendered or animated to make them visually appealing. Overall, photo retouching is highly useful in medical photography as it prevents misinterpretation of raw images. The medical photos can be retouched for optimization and can be calibrated as per the analyst. And doctors can treat their patients with the right diagnosis.
With the rise of deepfakes, scientists experimented with using Machine Learning to render images for plastic surgery patients. Database of photos can be acquired, and engineers can work using photoshop to reconstruct faces. Software’s have been used to show the patients before and after images of plastic surgery. This helped them to make changes according to the patient before the surgery. Researchers tried to merge the faces of different people with major and minor changes in the features (Crystal, Cuccolo, Ibrahim, Furnas, & Lin, 2020). This research helps in covering scars and lesions on the face of the patient.
Photo retouching using photoshop can be performed on prenatal ultrasound scans for 3-D image modelling. However, this theory is not in practical use because of the ethical implications on the fetus. The image of the unborn child has an emotional and ethical impact on parents as the high quality visualization of the fetus may result in the decision for the delivery of the baby (Favaretto, Vears, & Borry, 2020). Researchers wanted to find out if it is possible to produce a visualized replica that looks exactly like the fetus.
How is the Photo Retouching done?
There are many photo retouching services for medical photography, Clipping path is one of them. This technique is done to remove the background. Background removal helps to take out unwanted parts of the body and other objects. Medical photos are colorized for enhancing poorly visible areas in the raw photos. This is done through colour correction. Apart from the common retouching techniques, minor corrections such as contrast and exposure adjustments can be made. Sometimes the normal medical photos are sent for image processing using software instead of manual retouching. These photos are obtained faster than the retouched photos.
That said, healthcare professionals or researchers cannot take photos without the consent of the patient for legal purposes and scientific procedures. This is done to maintain dignity and respect of the patient. The photos can be used for various purposes such as publications and documentation with strict regulations. The photos should not include permanent marks on the patient’s body such as tattoos or birthmarks. If you are taking a photo of the patient’s face, the eyes should be properly covered. Finally, the medical photo should cover as minimum body area as possible. The patient is asked to fill a consent form and only then the photos can be used.