Using AI to Better Visualize Needles in Ultrasound-Guided Liver Biopsies


Tina Kapur

Tina Kapur, PhD, is the executive director of Image-Guided Therapy in the Department of Radiology. Kapur’s research focuses on medical image computing and computer-aided interventions in domains of neurosurgery, surgical navigation, and MR-guided pelvic brachytherapy. Kapur also leads initiatives in open science, and is the founding director of the first open-science hackathons for medical image computing, “NA-MIC Project Week.”

  • The big picture problem Kapur is interested in is using AI to auto detect any man-made object from any medical image: stents, implants, surgical instruments and needles.
  • Nearly 1 million ultrasound guided liver biopsies/year, increasing at a rate of 4 percent.
  • How can we use deep learning tech from AI to find tips of needles from ultrasound images to make liver biopsies safer for patients and easier for the physician?
  • The team is finding needles in image hay stacks. They want to enhance visualization of the needle using the power of AI.
  • We want to have a needle button that shows a visualized needle whenever the physician wants to see it, says Kapur. We want to beat the competition. Ours is not a navigation system or guides/coils. Ours comes with no added time, complexity, incremental cost.



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