Introduction to Medical Imaging
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Introduction to Medical Imaging

Your guide to the history, science, math, and economics of medical imaging systems (e.g., X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound)
4.1 (31 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
154 students enrolled
Last updated 8/2015
Current price: $15 Original price: $50 Discount: 70% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Master the fundamentals of medical imaging systems
  • List common uses of x-ray, CT, MRI ultrasound, and photoacoustic imaging
  • Know the primary advantages and disadvantages of each method
  • Understand the comparative costs
  • Look at any medical image and determine if it was created using one methods covered in class
  • Excel in academic, medical, and/or clinical programs requiring this basic knowledge
View Curriculum
  • A basic math and science background would be helpful.
  • Familiarity with introductory physics, chemistry, trigonometry, and algebra would make some elements of this course more enjoyable. However, no experience with one or more of these subjects should not be a deterrent.

Introduction to Medical Imaging is both a beginner's guide and an expert's cheat sheet to the history, science, math, and economics of medical imaging systems. The course will cover common imaging methods used in hospitals today -- i.e., x-ray, CT, MRI, and ultrasound -- as well as discuss emerging techniques, such as photoacoustic imaging. The basic principles, instrumentation, and applications of each imaging modality will be presented with interactive lectures and comprehensive quizzes from an enthusiastic and knowledgeable instructor. Assignments will test theoretical knowledge and demonstrate practical applications. The course will take approximately 5 hours to complete. Upon completion, you will command respect from your healthcare provider as a knowledgeable patron of medical imaging procedures.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course provides a general overview for students not familiar with medical imaging, as well as students who need a refresher.
  • Pre-Medical Students
  • Medical Students
  • Nursing Students
  • Grad Students embarking upon imaging research
  • Undergraduates thinking about joining an imaging lab
  • High School Students (advanced) desiring to connect basic math and science courses to real-world applications
  • Healthcare Professionals who want to appear knowledgeable to their patients
  • Engineering Professionals and Technicians seeking a general overview of medical imaging systems
  • None of the above, but you or someone you know previously had or will have an ultrasound, x-ray, CT, or MRI, and you have a genuine interest in learning what happens to the human body during one or more of these procedures
  • Note: This course is not for you if you are an expert in medical imaging, seeking to learn novel imaging theories and/or obtain an exhaustive list of current and potential clinical applications.
Curriculum For This Course
26 Lectures
2 Lectures 13:34

Overview of course goals and expectations

Preview 02:11

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • Noninvasiveness of Imaging
  • Medical Imaging Theory
  • Timeline of Medical Imaging
  • Temporal and Spatial Resolution
  • Cost Comparisons
Preview 11:23

Test your knowledge about basic principles all medical imaging scientists understand

Medical Imaging Basics
5 questions
Projection X-Ray Imaging
4 Lectures 27:08

Detailed overview of section on projection x-ray imaging. The remaining sections follow this same general outline.

Section Overview

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • EM Radiation
  • Atomic Structure
  • Electron Structure
  • Ionization
  • X-Ray Interactions with Matter
  • Compton Scattering Equation
Radiation, Electrons, Ionization

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • X-ray Tubes
  • Image Formation
  • Collimator
  • Anti-Scatter Grid
  • Image Examples
  • Adverse Effects
  • Dose and Dose Rate
  • Geiger Counter
  • Protective Equipment
  • Pros & Cons
Equipment, Examples, and Adverse Effects

Have you or someone you know ever had a broken bone? This lecture describes how some bone fractures are classified using x-ray images.

Detecting and Diagnosing Bone Fractures
13 pages

Projection X-ray
6 questions
Computed Tomography (CT) Imaging
4 Lectures 39:12

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • CT Slice Nomenclature
  • Pixels vs. Voxels
  • Projection vs. Tomography
  • Equipment
  • Imaging Methods
  • Sinogram
Terminology and Equipment

Stretch your mind with this lecture and try to predict the appearance of different sinograms for different geometrical targets.


Learn radon transform math and and apply it to algebraic matrix reconstruction principles to make your very own 4-pixel CT image

Image Building Excercise

Represent your CT data using g(R,theta) notation
7 questions

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • Backprojection
  • Filtered Backprojection
  • Image Formation Recap
  • Dose-Quality Trade-off
  • Image Quality Metrics
  • Example Images
  • Noise Artifacts
  • Pros & Cons
Image Reconstruction, Artifacts, Pros & Cons

CT Imaging
5 questions
Ultrasound Imaging
6 Lectures 31:35

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • Ultrasound System Architecture
  • Probe Components
  • Piezoelectric Effect
  • Transverse vs. Longitudinal Waves
  • Compression and Rarefaction
  • Reflection, Transmission, and Refraction
  • Acoustic Impedance
System Architecture, Components, and Terminology

A Note on Refraction and Sound Speed

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • Pulse Echo Imaging
  • Beamforming
  • Envelope Detection
  • Time-Depth Relationship
  • A-mode, B-mode, M-mode
  • Image Examples
Image Formation and Typical Uses

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • Speckle
  • Clutter
  • Shadowing
  • Speckle Tracking
  • SLSC
  • Doppler Imaging
  • Recent Advances
  • Pros & Cons
Artifacts, Advanced Methods, Pros & Cons

Sound In, Sound Out
5 questions

This my research paper describing one of the many benefits of 3D speckle tracking. You should be able to understand most of the details within after completing this section of the course.

Preview 17 pages

This is another one of my research papers. It describes additional methods that can be used to track tissue motion and compares them against each other. This is the most comprehensive study of advanced tracking methods for the liver to date.

Preview 30 pages
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
5 Lectures 31:00

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • MRI System Components
  • The Electromagnet Properties
  • Proton Response to Magnetic Field
  • Precession
  • Larmor Frequency
  • Magnetization Vectors
System Overview, Magnet Properties, and Precession

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • RF Coils
  • Proton Response to RF Energy
  • Faraday Induction
  • Flip Angle Measurements
  • Gradient Coils
  • Slice Selection
Coils, Flipping Protons, Faraday Induction

More Details on the Larmor Frequency and Flipping Protons

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • Magnetization Vector Recording
  • Obtaining Image Contrast
  • Example Images
  • MRI Safety
  • Noise Artifacts
  • Pros & Cons
Obtaining Contrast, Examples, Artifacts, Pros & Cons

Ever wondered what the brains of patients with neurological diseases looked like? Satisfy your curiosity with this lecture.

Imaging Neurological Diseases
12 pages

Flip, flip, spin
6 questions
Recap and Outlook
5 Lectures 35:02

By now, you have all of the information you need to determine which imaging method made these brain images. Look for key features that are unique to each imaging method.

Guess That Image
1 page

Solutions to "Guess That Image"

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • Light and Sound Relationship
  • Contrast Mechanism
  • Common Applications
A Peek Into the Frontiers of Medical Imaging with Photoacoustic Tomography

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Lasers
  • SLSC Applied to Photoacoustic Imaging
  • Interventional Imaging Potential
My Major Contributions to Photoacoustic Imaging Research

This lecture includes the following key topics:

  • Reasons to Include Robots
  • Eye Protection
  • Pros & Cons
Potential Integration with Medical Robotics, Laser Safety, Imaging Pros & Cons

Identify the Imaging Method
5 questions
0 Lectures 00:00
Short and Sweet Course Feedback
4 questions
About the Instructor
Muyinatu Bell, PhD
4.1 Average rating
31 Reviews
154 Students
1 Course
Biomedical Engineer, Researcher, and Course Instructor

Dr. Bell is an accomplished researcher and engineer with degrees and training from world class institutions. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University (Durham, NC, USA) and her B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA, USA), where she minored in Biomedical Engineering. In addition, Dr. Bell conducted research abroad as an Academic Visitor at the Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital (Sutton, Surrey, UK).

Dr. Bell has published over 39 scientific journal articles and conference papers and has 8 years of experience presenting her work at national and international meetings, sharing her findings with novice and experienced colleagues alike. These presentations have led to invited speaking engagements at multiple universities across the globe, as well as guest lectures and teaching positions to develop new courses at her current institution, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD, USA), where she currently resides as a research fellow. She is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and fellowships that fund and support her work.

Dr. Bell has a passion for disseminating knowledge to her students and enjoys seeing the proverbial light bulb illuminate in the minds of others. She takes pleasure in being the source of these "Aha!" moments. Her areas of interest, research, and expertise include medical imaging, ultrasound, photoacoustics, medical device design, medical robotics, technology development, and novel image processing methods, for which she has multiple patents pending.