Anatomy Meets Cinema – Cinematic Rendering

(f.l.t.r.) Dr.-Ing. Robert Schneider, Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Inf. (Univ.) Klaus Dieter Engel, Prof. Dr. med. Franz A. Fellner

Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Inf. (Univ.)
Klaus Dieter Engel (Spokesperson)
Prof. Dr. med. Franz A. Fellner*
Dr.-Ing. Robert Schneider

Siemens Healthineers -
Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Erlangen
*Kepler Universitätsklinikum GmbH, Linz

Modern imaging techniques look deep into the human body. Yet the images they provide are often difficult for anyone without a medical background to interpret. Is there a way to enhance medical images to such an extent that they appear natural and are easily understood?

Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Inf. (Univ.) Klaus Dieter Engel, Prof. Dr. med. Franz A. Fellner and Dr.-Ing. Robert Schneider have developed a technology that does just that. It is based on an approach popularized in the production of realistic animated films. The technique employs near-natural artificial lighting that imitates the complex propagation and changes in light. The three nominated scientists have refined the technology for medical applications. Clinical images from inside the body can be depicted in a fully new "hyperrealistic" form. Klaus Dieter Engel and Robert Schneider are leading experts in visualization at Siemens Healthineers in Erlangen, Germany, Franz A. Fellner is head of the Central Radiological Institute at Kepler University Hospital in Linz, Austria.

Imaging techniques like computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in which "pictures" of the body are produced using X-rays or magnetic fields are able to provide finely detailed images of organs or tissue structures at a resolution of less than one millimeter. The images that are produced slice by slice reveal internal injuries or the characteristics of a disease to physicians. Yet for laypeople, who are not as familiar with human anatomy, the images are often incomprehensible. This makes communication between radiologists and referring physicians but above all between doctors and patients difficult.

To overcome this obstacle, Klaus Dieter Engel and Robert Schneider, both Siemens scientists, were inspired by a method already in use in animated film production: during the rendering process, realistic lighting effects make virtual figures appear to fit naturally into the scene in the film environment. The process is very complex since it takes into account physical effects such as the reflection, absorption and color change of numerous light beams which are influenced by surrounding objects. Rendering in the studio is generally a long and involved post-production process of the film. In medical applications, however, the processed images must be made available quickly.

The scientists at Siemens Healthineers succeeded by using a specially developed mathematical algorithm that simulates only those beams of light in calculating photorealistic lighting which actually reach the eye of the beholder. Thanks to numerous other optimizations of the algorithm, the computing time is cut so dramatically that the process can be used on most computers. As a result, "Cinematic Rendering" delivers three-dimensional and photorealistic imaging of the body, vividly revealing even the finest structures and an unprecedented degree of plasticity. By combining these images with data from the PET CT, for example, they can also visualize functional information such as metabolic activity.

The very graphic and natural visualization of clinical data makes it easier for doctors to explain to their patients the findings regarding disease or injury as well as the procedure of a scheduled operation. The technique can also be used in the education and further training of medical students, therapists and healthcare personnel because it provides what had until recently been unimaginable insight into anatomical details – and is even capable of visualizing fibers in the brain with an otherwise impossible fineness. It is also possible to turn realistic 3D images of a living human body in any direction and process them as needed for a specific case.

Siemens Healthineers already offer doctors and scientists software products that use Cinematic Rendering for the visualization of clinical images. Franz A. Fellner has been using the technology since 2015 at the Ars Electronica Center –- a high-tech museum for future technologies in Linz– for impressive presentations in which the audience delves virtually into the depths of the human body as well as to train and educate doctors. The technology is also already being used at the Linz University Hospital as a special tool to prepare for operations. Since summer 2017 Cinematic Rendering is also being tested at the University Clinic Erlangen as a tool in the planning of surgical procedures of the liver, gall bladder or pancreas.

The right to nominate outstanding achievements for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis is incumbent on leading German institutions in science and industry as well as foundations.
The project "Anatomy Meets Cinema - Cinematic Rendering" was submitted by the Federation of German Industries, BDI.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will award the 21st Deutscher Zukunftspreis for the year 2017 to one of the three nominated teams on November 29, 2017.

Resume

Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Inf. (Univ.) Klaus Dieter Engel

10/13/1969
Born in Nördlingen, Germany
1976 – 1980
Elementary school, Nördlingen/Löpsingen
1980 – 1989
Theodor-Heuss Gymnasium, Nördlingen
1989
Abitur (High School diploma)
1989 – 1990
Military service
1990 – 1993
Undergraduate studies in computer science at the University of Würzburg
1993
Intermediate diploma in computer science at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
1993 – 1997
Graduate studies in computer science at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
1997
Degree in computer science at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
1997
Computer scientist at 3SOFT GmbH in Erlangen
1998 – 1999
Doctoral student at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
1999 – 2002
Doctoral student at the University of Stuttgart
2002
PhD in Natural Sciences (Dr. rer. nat.) from the University of Stuttgart
2003 – 2006
Researcher at Siemens Corporate Research Inc., Princeton, NJ, USA
2006 – 2007
Researcher at Siemens Corporate Technology, Erlangen
2006 – 2014
Researcher at Siemens Healthcare, Components and Vacuum Technology
2009
Appointment as Principal Key Expert for visualization
Since 2014
Principal Key Expert for visualization at Siemens Healthineers, Strategy and Innovation

Honors

2000
Best Paper Award, Eurographics/SIGGRAPH Workshop on Graphics Hardware
2001
Best Paper Award, Eurographics/SIGGRAPH Workshop on Graphics Hardware
2016
Inventor of the Year in the category “Single Outstanding Invention” at Siemens AG

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Prof. Dr. med. Franz A. Fellner

7/15/1966
Born in Passau, Germany
1972 – 1976
Schalding r. d. D. elementary school, Passau
1976 – 1985
Gymnasium Leopoldinum, Passau
1985 – 1987
Study of human medicine (pre-clinic), University of Regensburg
1987 – 1991
Study of human medicine (clinic), Technical University of Munich
1989 – 1992
Tutor for neuroanatomy, University of Regensburg
1992 – 1993
Resident, radiology practice at Klinikum Ingolstadt
1992
License to practice medicine
1993 – 1994
Resident for neurology, Landes-Nervenklinik in Linz, Austria; scientific collaboration with the LNK Institute for Radiology
1994 – 1995
Resident at the Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, Klinikum Ingolstadt
1995 – 1996
Resident at the Institute of Radiology at Landes-Nervenklinik in Linz, Austria
1996
Doctorate in Medicine, Technical University of Munich
Dr. med. degree (degree in medicine) / grade: magna cum laude
1996 – 2000
Resident at the Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
2000
Certification as a medical specialist in diagnostic radiology
2001
Postdoctoral qualification in diagnostic radiology
2001
Awarded the venia legendi (lecturing qualification), University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
2001 – 2002
Senior physician of the Institute of Diagnostic Radiology and Deputy Director of the Institute, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
2002 – 2005
Senior physician at the Institute of Neuroradiology, Landes-Nervenklinik in Linz, Austria
2005 - 2015
Director of the Central Radiology Institute, General Hospital of the city of Linz, Austria
Since 2007
Extraordinary professor at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Member of the faculty council
Since 2016
Director of the Central Radiology Institute, Kepler Universitätsklinikum, Linz, Austria (formerly General Hospital Linz)

Other activities

2005 – 2013
Member of the research & development advisory board of the Universities of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
2007 – 2017
Member of the supervisory board of Ars Electronica Linz GmbH
2012 – 2014
Spokesman of the council of senior physicians of the General Hospital Linz
2014 – 2015
President of the Medical Association for Upper Austria
2015 – 2016
Past president of the Medical Association for Upper Austria
2005 – 2009
Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria for medical technology, Linz
2005 - 2010
Lecturer at the medical training center of General Hospital Linz
2012 - 2016
Lecturer at the Technical and Science Faculty of the Johannes Kepler University of Linz
Member of the advisory board of the medical technology cluster of Business Upper Austria agency in Upper Austria
Member of the advisory board of Ars Electronica Linz GmbH & Co KG
Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria for health professions
Lecturer at the Medical Faculty of Johannes Kepler University of Linz
Organization and/or management of 25 national and international conventions and symposiums
Organization and/or management and implementation of more than 150 advanced training courses
Planning and development of the curriculum of human medicine for Johannes Kepler University of Linz (in the areas of radiology, medical technology, and virtual anatomy)
Reviewer for 11 national and international peer-reviewed professional medical journals
More than 1,700 national and international publications in journals and presentations as well as book contributions and academic works
1 book (“Fashion & Technology”)
12 art exhibitions on the topic of radiology and art (“Ars Intrinsica”) in Austria and Germany
Research areas:
Innovative clinical applications of magnetic resonance imaging
3D post-processing techniques for radiological cross-sectional imaging methods
Virtual anatomy
New teaching methods in medicine and general education taking state-of-the-art digital possibilities into account

Honors

1998
Poster prize of the annual meeting of the European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB), Geneva
2001
Poster prize of the joint annual meeting of the associations for vascular and endovascular surgery (Germany, Switzerland, Austria), Hamburg
2004
Scientific award from the Medical Association of Upper Austria (Pilgerstorfer Prize)
2006
Editor’s Recognition Award from the European Journal of Radiology
2007
Editor’s Recognition Award from the European Journal of Radiology
2011
Best Scientific Contribution: “Challenges in Imaging,” awarded by the President of the European Society of Radiology

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Dr.-Ing. Robert Schneider

7/20/1970
Born in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany
1977 - 1981
Elementary school, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz
1981 - 1983
Willibald-Gluck Gymnasium, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz
1983 - 1987
Secondary school, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz
1987 - 1989
Maximilian Kolbe Fachoberschule, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz
1989
Bayerisches Hochbegabtenstipendium (Bavarian scholarship for highly gifted students)
1989 - 1990
Military service
1990 - 1992
Study of mathematics at Regensburg University of Applied Sciences
1992
Joined Siemens Studentenkreis
1992 - 1994
Undergraduate studies in mathematics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
1994
Intermediate diploma in mathematics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
1994 - 1997
Graduate studies in mathematics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
1997
Degree in mathematics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
1997 - 1999
Doctoral student at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg at the computer graphics lab
1999 - 2001
Doctoral student at the Max-Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken in the computer graphics department
2001
PhD in engineering (Dr. Ing.) from Saarland University
2001 - 2007
Computer scientist at Siemens Healthcare, Syngo
2007
Appointment as a Senior Key Expert for visualization and multicore
2007 - 2011
Senior Key Expert for visualization and multicore at Siemens Healthcare, Syngo
2011 - 2014
Innovation Manager at Siemens Healthcare, Syngo
2014
Appointment as a Principal Key Expert for visualization and multicore
Since 2014
Principal Key Expert for visualization and multicore at Siemens Healthineers, Diagnostic Imaging

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Contact

Spokesperson

Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Inf.(Univ.) Klaus Dieter Engel
Siemens Healthineers - Siemens Healthcare GmbH
Strategy and Innovation, Technology Center, Medical Imaging Tech
Hartmannstraße 16
91052 Erlangen
Phone: + 49 (0) 9131 / 84 60 65
Mobile: + 49 (0) 173 / 97 66 044
E-Mail: engel.klaus@siemens-healthineers.com
www.healthcare.siemens.com

Press

Ulrich Künzel
Media Relations
Siemens Healthineers - Siemens Healthcare GmbH
Henkestraße 127
91052 Erlangen
Phone: +49 (0)9131 84-3473
Fax: +49 (0)9131 84-3047
Mobile: +49 162 24 33 492
E-Mail: ulrich.kuenzel@siemens-healthineers.com
www.healthcare.siemens.com

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