New software can save doctors time diagnosing illnesses

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COLUMBIA- A new software from MU researchers could save medical professionals precious time diagnosing patients.

"Scientists and medical technicians can spend a lot of time analyzing very complicated data and imaging,"said Steve Van Doren of the MU Department of Biochemistry.

The software "simply makes that process much quicker, and easier and reliable," he said.

Van Doren and fellow researcher Jia Xut developed "TREND" (short for Tracking Equilibrium and Non-equilibrium shifts in Data) to speed up their research. The software can isolate trends in images, videos, and scientific measurements came online for download requests Tuesday.

Xu said the process used to be very time consuming.

"Now we can do things in minutes which we could only do with weeks or months."

TREND takes the videos or images uploaded and creates corresponding graphs for the factor(s) that users are looking for. Van Doren used the example of a heartbeat. TREND would show the heart's rhythm in a line graph. Any movement from the lungs in the foreground could be avoided.

TREND is also capable of editing the video uploaded to isolate for certain changes. For example, a video of a heart beating and lungs moving could be edited to remove the movement of either. Doctors could use this video with the corresponding graphs to compare the data of healthy patients to those who may be sick, possibly saving precious time.

"I think it can, should and will accelerate research in protein science and drug discovery," Van Doren said. "I'm certainly expectant that it will begin to have an impact."

Xu will continue to develop TREND to meet the needs of the organizations looking to purchase the product. 

Van Doren said TREND already has licensees in Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S. TREND is free to academic users, but is available to private citizens as well.