In Dr Dolores Steinman's very engaging presentation, she discussed her research with Dr David Steinman (Biomedical Simulation Laboratory, University of Toronto) utilising sound as a novel method for interpreting data of blood flow patterns.
In spite of its prevalence and clinical significance (i.e. aneurysm and atherosclerosis), artery flow disturbance (i.e. ruptures or wall thickening) is not well understood.
While medical imaging technology allows us to visualise our inner bodies and biological processes, Dolores argued that they also obfuscate our interpretations of what we are seeing. To evidence her point, we were asked to select which representation provided the most accurate interpretation of data amongst a series the medical images (see photo above). Result: None of us guessed it right. Ironically, it was the least visually captivating/illustrative image (far right).
Thus sound, without visual obfuscations (i.e. variations in interpretations or details), may provide a more succinct and richer manifestation of the inside of arteries.
Through their collaboration with Dr Riccardo Castagna (musician/composer, electronic & sound designer, Green On), Dr Valentina Margaria (biotechnologist, Green On) and Diego Gallo (biomedical engineer, University of Torino), they are now exploring ways of sonifying the data by looking at correlations between the sound data and their significations in blood flow of arteries.