Upgrading to 3Dicom Pro gives users plenty of features to further enhance their analysis and optimise the way they interpret medical images. One of the more unique features users can employ is the use drawing tools. Let’s dive into what the drawing tools are and how to use them.
What are the drawing tools and mark-ups used for?
When upgrading to 3Dicom Pro, users are presented with three drawing tools they can employ. Drawing tools are essential when conducting in-depth analysis on medical scans not only for medical experts and specialists, but for those with a limited medical background. The first major purpose in the use of drawing tools is during patient-to-specialist discussion and communication. When specialists discuss medical images with patients, it is extremely common for the specialists to use the drawing tools to guide them throughout the scan. Furthermore, often patient education with specialists is filled with medical jargon and terminology which can be overwhelming for the patient, often resulting in mis-understanding about the practise that will be performed or the medical scan itself.
Another purpose of the drawing tools is for those with limited medical background to understand medical images more clearly and simply. When users with limited medical background used any dicom software for their own personal interpretation, it can be overwhelming for them to interpret anatomy. By incorporating simple drawing tools such as a line and circle, it simplifies analysis and placing everything into perspective. So what are the drawing tools?
The three drawing tools we are given are:
- Line Tool which gives users the ability to draw a straight line with a starting and finishing point.
- Circle Tool which gives users ability to draw any type of ellipse.
- Free Draw Tool which gives users the ability to draw any shape consisting of points. The free draw tool does not give users the ability to incorporate curve in their drawing.
How to use the drawing tools
Using the drawing tools is very similar in the way we operate the 2D measurements. For a guide on how to use the 2D measurement tools also included in 3Dicom Pro, follow this in-depth tutorial. To begin, simply load your scan in through the ‘load scan’ icon in the top bar. Once our scan is loaded in, we need to place our medical images in a 2D view. Drawing tools will only work if our scans are placed in a 2D view. To place our scan in a 2D view, simply press the ‘expand button’ shown in the image below. We can place our scan in either a sagittal, coronal or axial view depending on our analysis.
Once our medical image is placed in our desired 2D view, we can then begin using the drawing tools. The drawing tools are located in the ‘Edit Panel’ on the right hand side. Once we have selected the edit panel, it will display the three drawing tools we are able to use. To begin using the drawing tools, simply select one by clicking on it.
The first tool users are given is the Line Tool. The line tool works the same way the length (point to point) tool works in 2D measurements. We can use the line tool in two different ways by either clicking and dragging or selecting two different points.
The next tool users are given is the Circle Tool. The circle tool works the same way the circle (diameter and area) tool works in 2D measurements. To begin using this tool, simply click and drag once the tool is selected to make the ellipse the desired size. By dragging sidewards, our ellipse becomes horizontally larger and by dragging up or down, our ellipse becomes vertically larger.
The final tool users are given is the Free Draw Tool. The free draw tool works the same way the polygon (perimeter and area) tool works in 2D measurements. To begin using this tool, simply click on the desired point you would like to start the path. We can then proceed to click each time we would like to make another point on the path. Placing points close together (clicking more frequently) will create a more precise path however, placing points far apart (clicking less frequently) will create a shape quicker.
In conjunction with the three tools, we are also presented with a number of added functions when using the drawing tools. Figure 1 outlines the drawing history box. This box allows us to view all of the past drawings we have sketched. This displays any lines, circles or polygons we have drawn on our medical image. Additionally, we are also given the ability to rename (pencil icon) our mark-up, hide (eye icon) our mark-up or delete (trashcan icon) our mark-up.
When selecting one of our mark-ups, we also are given the ability to change the colour. Figure 2 displays our colour panel. The X-axis on our colour panel allows us to change the colour of our mark-ups and the Y-axis allows us to make our mark-up lines more transparent or overt. The below image will outline the location of all the added functions.