(19)
(11)EP 2 722 004 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.09.2017 Bulletin 2017/36

(21)Application number: 13164741.4

(22)Date of filing:  22.04.2013
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61B 6/14  (2006.01)
G06F 19/00  (2011.01)
G06F 19/26  (2011.01)

(54)

Overlay maps for navigation of intraoral images

Überlagerungskarten für die Navigation auf intraoralen Bildern

Cartes de recouvrement pour navigation d'images intra-orales


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 18.10.2012 US 201261715691 P
12.03.2013 US 201313797248

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.04.2014 Bulletin 2014/17

(73)Proprietor: Dental Imaging Technologies Corporation
Hatfield, PA 19440 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Cocco, George J.
    Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083 (US)
  • Franke, Carsten
    40489 Düsseldorf (DE)
  • Parma, Michael J.
    Chalfont, Pennsylvania 18914 (US)
  • Rubinfield, Louis P.
    Glenmoore, Pennsylvania 19343 (US)
  • Steck, John
    Perkasie, Pennsylvania 18944 (US)

(74)Representative: Garratt, Peter Douglas 
Mathys & Squire LLP
The Shard 32 London Bridge Street London SE1 9SG
The Shard 32 London Bridge Street London SE1 9SG (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 430 830
US-A1- 2011 109 650
US-A1- 2012 172 700
US-A1- 2009 105 578
US-A1- 2012 124 506
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS



    [0001] The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application 61/715,691, filed October 18,2012.

    FIELD



    [0002] Embodiments of the present invention relate to reviewing digital radiographic or photographic images.

    BACKGROUND



    [0003] Traditionally, navigating between images of a series, such as a series of intraoral images, requires opening numerous windows and continuously switching between image views. In particular, users are often required to exit a zoomed, full-screen viewing mode of one image to select another image within the same series or must view zoomed images sequentially. Reference is directed to US2012124506 which discloses a user interface configured to display a first set of subject data in a first image workspace on the at least one display. The user interface is further configured to provide for user selection of at least one of a plurality of subject data related to a plurality of image workspaces, attach user comments to and save user comments with the user-selected subject data in the first user-selectable tab after input of user comments, electronically mail the user-selected subject data to one or more designated recipients directly from a first user-selectable tab after input of instructions to electronically mail the user-selected subject data, and automatically open a second image workspace related to the user-selected subject data after user selection of a return link in the first user-selectable tab. Reference is also directed to US2012172700 which discloses systems and methods for supporting a diagnostic workflow from a computer system. A set of pre-identified anatomical landmarks associated with one or more structures of interest within one or more medical images are presented to a user. In response to a user input selecting at least one or more regions of interest including one or more of the pre-identified anatomical landmarks, the user is automatically navigated to the selected region of interest. In another implementation, a second user input selecting one or more measurement tools is received. An evaluation may be automatically determined based on one or more of the set of anatomical landmarks in response to the second user input.

    SUMMARY



    [0004] In some embodiments, the invention provides a graphical user interface with an overlay in the form of an image-navigation map. The image-navigation map, among other things, allows for faster and easier review of a series of images without leaving a zoomed, full-screen viewing mode. One particular embodiment takes the form of an image viewing system that includes a source of images and a computer having a processor and a user interface module. The user interface module is configured to generate a graphical user interface. A screen is connected to the computer and displays the graphical user interface. The graphical user interface has a first window in which at least one of the images is displayed. In response to user input (e.g., a cursor-control action such as a mouse click or tap of a touch screen), the graphical user interface generates an image-navigation map and the image-navigation map is displayed in a foreground of the first window. The at least one image is displayed in a background of the first window. The image-navigation map also includes one or more thumbnail images of the images.

    [0005] In certain embodiments, the image viewing system is configured to operate in a first navigation mode and a second navigation mode. The first navigation mode is based on an image location within a series of images. The second navigation mode is based on anatomy. In a particular embodiment, the anatomy is dentition.

    [0006] Another embodiment of the invention provides a method for controlling an image viewing system in a first navigation mode and a second navigation mode. The system includes a computer having a processor and a user interface module, and a screen connected to the computer. The method includes generating, by the user interface module, a graphical user interface, and displaying, on the screen, the graphical user interface including one or more images in a first window. The method also includes determining a location of a user input on the screen, and displaying, on the screen and in response to the user input, an image-navigation map in a foreground of the first window, and the one or more images in a background of the first window.

    [0007] Other aspects of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0008] 

    FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate dental x-ray systems.

    FIGS. 3-5 illustrate a graphical user interface displayed by systems such as those in FIGS. 1 and 2.

    FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating a first mode of navigating images within the graphical user interface.

    FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating a second mode of navigating images within the graphical user interface.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0009] Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways.

    [0010] Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of "including," "comprising" or "having" and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items. The terms "mounted," "connected" and "coupled" are used broadly and encompass both direct and indirect mounting, connecting and coupling. Further, "connected" and "coupled" are not restricted to physical or mechanical connections or couplings, and can include electrical connections or couplings, whether direct or indirect. Also, electronic communications and notifications may be performed using any known means including direct connections, wireless connections, etc.

    [0011] It should be noted that a plurality of hardware and software based devices, as well as a plurality of different structural components may be utilized to implement the invention. Furthermore, and as described in subsequent paragraphs, the specific configurations illustrated in the drawings are intended to exemplify embodiments of the invention and that other alternative configurations are possible.

    [0012] FIG. 1 illustrates a dental x-ray system 10. The system includes an x-ray source 12. In the embodiment shown, the source is located on an end 13 of a mechanical arm 15. When activated by an x-ray source controller 14, the x-ray source 12 generates an x-ray stream 16 that has a generally circular cross-section. (Of course, x-rays are generally invisible, but a representation of a stream is illustrated to facilitate understanding of the invention.) As shown in FIG. 1, x-ray source 12 is positioned (e.g., by an operator) so that the x-ray stream 16 is directed to an intraoral receptor 20. The intraoral receptor 20 is shown located in the mouth of a patient 21. In the illustrated embodiment, a wire, cable, or similar connector 27 of the receptor 20 connects the receptor 20 to a computer 30. However, the receptor 20 could communicate with the computer 30 wirelessly. Alternatively, as discussed in greater detail below, the receptor 20 could include memory for storing image data and, after an imaging procedure, could be removed from the patient's mouth and placed in a reader to retrieve the image data.

    [0013] Although the system illustrated in FIG. 1 is an intraoral imaging system, the interface and other features of the present invention can also be used to display and navigate among images generated by panoramic and/or cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) systems, or even a set of images generated by different kinds of imaging systems, including for example intraoral, panoramic, and/or CBCT images, either individually or in combination.

    [0014] The computer 30 includes various components, including a user interface module 26, a processor or similar electronic device 32, an input/output interface 34, and memory 36 (e.g., RAM and ROM). In some embodiments, the input/output interface 34 includes a universal serial bus ("USB") connection, and the connector 27 from the intraoral receptor 20 includes a USB cable. FIG. 1 illustrates that image data captured by the receptor 20 and processed by the computer 30 is sent to a screen 38 and viewed as an image 40. (Image 40 is drawn more distinctly than an x-ray image would typically appear.) In some embodiments, the image 40 is displayed on the screen 38 within a graphical user interface ("GUI") 41 generated by the user interface module 26.

    [0015] In some embodiments, the screen 38 is a touch screen that is sensitive to a user's touch. Therefore, the touch screen allows a user to directly interact with the GUI 41 on the screen 38. In other embodiments, a user may use one or more input devices 42, such as a keyboard, mouse, joystick, etc., to interact with the GUI 41 on the screen 38. It should be understood that the terms "tap," "touch," "click," and "select" are used interchangeably within the present application to indicate a user selection (e.g., a cursor-control action) on the screen 38 made through a touch screen or with one or more input devices 42. In either embodiment, the screen 38 or device 42, as the case may be, is configured to generate an output or signal in response to a user touching a portion of the screen 38 or using a mouse or similar input device 42 to click on a portion of the screen 38. As illustrated in FIG. 1, images (i.e., data associated with a displayed image 40) may be stored in the memory 36, a database 45 coupled to the computer 30, or a combination thereof to provide a source of images.

    [0016] In some embodiments, the screen 38 and the computer 30 are included in a tablet-type computer or smart phone.

    [0017] In some embodiments, as illustrated in FIG. 2, an image plate 50 is positioned in the mouth of the patient 21 in place of the intraoral receptor 20. The image plate 50 operates similar to the receptor 20, but stores collected data internally to memory included in the image plate 50 during a procedure. Therefore, no wire, cable, or similar connector is needed to connect the image plate 50 to the computer 30 during the procedure. Rather, to obtain the data stored to the image plate 50, a user inserts the image plate 50 into a reading device 60. The reading device 60 is configured to read information stored on the image plate 50 and transmit the information to the computer 30 (e.g., over a USB connection) for processing and display as described above with respect to FIG. 1.

    [0018] The x-ray systems 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 are examples of imaging systems that provide a source of images. Other imaging systems in which a series of images is generated could be used with the image-navigation overlay described below.

    [0019] The user interface module 26 generates outputs (e.g., changes to the appearance of the GUI 41) in response to input or commands received from a touch screen or one or more input devices 42. The GUI41 generated by the user interface module 26 is configured to allow a user to navigate images within a series of images. For example, an x-ray procedure typically generates a series of images of a portion of anatomy. Part of reviewing the series can include reviewing one or more of the images in the series independently and/or with reference to other images in the same series. As illustrated FIG. 3, the GUI 41 includes a window 82 in which one or more images 40 are displayed. While viewing an image 40 within the GUI 41, the user interface module 26 displays a next or previous image in the series when the user performs a first specified action (e.g., swiping on the touch screen or selecting or clicking a "NEXT" or "PREVIOUS" button) (not shown in FIG. 2). Alternatively, (as described in more detail with respect to FIG. 4 and other figures) the user interface module 26 displays an image-navigation overlay 84 when the user performs a second specified action (e.g., tapping or selecting the displayed image 40). The user interface module 26 displays at least some portions of the image-navigation overlay 84 in the foreground of the window 82 while continuing to display the image 40 in the background. Some of the portions of the image-navigation overlay 84 displayed in the foreground can be partially opaque and partially transparent to allow a user to view the displayed image 40 through portions of the image-navigation overlay 84.

    [0020] For example, FIG. 4 illustrates the GUI 41 displaying the image-navigation overlay 84 according to one embodiment of the invention. The image-navigation overlay 84 includes a menu 86 and an image-navigation map 88. The menu 86 includes at least three buttons: a first button 90, a second button 91, and a third button 92. The first button 90 is labeled "OVERVIEW," the second button 91 is labeled "ANNOTATE," and the third button 92 is labeled "TOOTH MAP." In some embodiments, the menu 86 also displays the name of the patient associated with a series of images (in this case "Zach Jones"). The user can select the "OVERVIEW" button 90 to return to previous screens displayed by the GUI 41 (e.g., an overview or starting screen for selecting a particular image series or a particular patient). A user can select the "ANNOTATE" button 91 to provide annotations for the displayed image 40. As described in more detail below, user can select the "TOOTH MAP" button 92 to view a tooth map within the image navigation overlay 84.

    [0021] As illustrated in FIG. 4, the image-navigation map 88 includes thumbnail images 95 representing other images included in the selected series. In some embodiments, the thumbnail images 95 are arranged corresponding to the location of the patient's mouth that is displayed in each image 40. For example, images including the patient's right front teeth are represented by thumbnails 95 located on the top right of the image-navigation map 88. The user interface module 26 highlights one of the thumbnail images 95 based on the location of the currently-displayed image 40 within the series. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the image-navigation map 88 is displayed in a foreground of the window 82 and is at least partially transparent to allow a user to view the image 40 through the map 88. As described in more detail below, the image-navigation map 88 allows a user to quickly navigate between images of a series and provides location awareness within a zoomed-in or full-screen viewing mode.

    [0022] In some embodiments, the image-navigation overlay 84 includes a tooth map 96 in place of or in addition to the image-navigation map 88 (see, e.g., FIG. 5). The tooth map 96 includes small depictions 97 that graphically represent teeth. The user interface module 26 highlights one or more of the depictions 97 based on the anatomical region illustrated in the currently-displayed image 40. In some embodiments, the user interface 26 determines which depictions 97 to highlight based on metadata associated with a particular image, such as one or more tooth identifiers predefined for a particular image. As illustrated in FIG. 5, in some embodiments, the user interface module 26 simultaneously displays the tooth map 96 and the image-navigation map 88 within the image-navigation overlay 84. Similar to the image-navigation map 88, the tooth map 96 is displayed in a foreground of the window 82 and is partially opaque and partially transparent to allow a user to view the image 40 through the tooth map 86.

    [0023] FIGS. 6 and 7 are flow charts illustrating navigation modes provided by the user interface module 26 when displaying images 40 in the GUI 41. In particular, FIG. 6 illustrates a first navigation mode for navigating between images based on an image location within a series of images. To select a particular series of images, the user interface module 26 initially displays an overview or starting screen within the GUI 41 (at 125). The starting screen displays options to a user for selecting an image for display. In particular, the starting screen includes a "PATIENTS" button. When the screen 38 includes a touch screen, the user can "tap" the "PATIENTS" button to select images associated with a particular patient. Alternatively, when the user uses an input device 42, for example, as a mouse or keyboard, the user can "click" on the "PATIENTS" button to select images associated with a particular patient. As noted above, it should be understood that the terms "tap," "click," and "select" are used interchangeably within the present application to indicate a cursor-control action or user selection, for example, touching the screen 38 or using an input device 42.

    [0024] When the user selects the "PATIENTS" button (at 130), the user interface module 26 generates a list of available patients and displays the list in the GUI 41. When a user taps one of the patients in the list (at 135), the user interface module 26 displays one or more radiographic images 40 associated with the selected patient within the GUI 41 (at 140). As described above with respect to FIGS. 3-5, the GUI 41 has a first window 82 in which one or more images 40 are displayed.

    [0025] After the images 40 are displayed, the user interface module 26 determines how the user wants to navigate the images 40 based on the location of a user tap (at 145). If the user directly taps on a particular image 40 within a series displayed in the GUI 41, the user interface module 26 displays the selected image 40 in the GUI 41 enlarged or zoomed (e.g., full-screen) (at 150). Alternatively, if the user taps on a series of images displayed in the GUI 41, the user interface module 26 displays the selected series enlarged (at 155). The user can tap on one of the images within the selected series (at 156), and, in response, the user interface module 26 displays the selected image 40 enlarged within the GUI 41 (at 150).

    [0026] With a particular image 40 displayed enlarged in the GUI 41, the user interface module 26 waits for user input (at 160). If the user "swipes" the displayed image 40 (e.g., by dragging their finger horizontally across the screen 38), the user interface module 26 displays the next image in the same series (at 165). If the user taps the displayed image, the user interface module 26 displays the image-navigation overlay 84 (at 175). In the first mode of navigation, the overlay 84 includes the image-navigation map 88. As described above with respect to FIG. 4, the user interface module 26 displays the image-navigation map 88 in a foreground of the window 82 and continues to display the selected image 40 in the background of the window 82. The image-navigation map 88 is also at least partially transparent to allow a user to view the selected image 40 through the map 88. The user interface module 26 also highlights one of the thumbnails 95 included in the image-navigation map 88 that corresponds to the currently-selected image (i.e., the image 40 displayed in the background of the window 82). Therefore, the image-navigation map 88 highlights the location of a currently-selected image in a series of images. A user can select other thumbnails 95 displayed in the image-navigation map 88 to display a different image 40 within the GUI 41. Accordingly, a user can use the image-navigation map 88 to quickly identify and select a particular image of interest for display within the GUI 41.

    [0027] In particular, returning to FIG. 6, with the image-navigation map 88 displayed, the user interface module 26 determines the location of subsequent user taps (at 180). If the user taps on a particular thumbnail 95 in the map 88, the user interface module 26 displays the image represented by the selected thumbnail 95 in the background of the window 82. In some embodiments, the user interface module 26 also displays the image-navigation map 88 in the foreground of the window 82 and highlights the thumbnail 95 included in the map 88 that corresponds to the newly-selected image (at 170). In other embodiments, the user interface module 26 only displays the newly-selected image and waits for the user to tap the image to display the image-navigation overlay 84 or portions thereof.

    [0028] Alternatively, if the user taps on an area of the window 82 outside of the image-navigation map 88, the user interface module 26 dismisses the navigation assistance provided by the image-navigation map 88 and removes the image-navigation map 88 (and the entire image-navigation overlay 84) from view (see, e.g., FIG. 3). Therefore, the user interface module 26 effects navigation between a displayed image 40 and the image-navigation map 88 in response to where the user taps on the screen. Also, in some embodiments, a user can select a button from the menu 86 to re-display the image-navigation map 88.

    [0029] FIG. 7 illustrates a second navigation mode for navigating between images based on anatomy, and, in particular, dentition anatomy. In this mode, the image-navigation overlay 84 displayed by the user interface module 26 includes a tooth map 96. In particular, if a user selects the "TOOTH MAP" button 92 from the menu 86 with a particular image 40 displayed within the GUI 41 (at 200), the user interface module 26 displays the tooth map 96 within the overlay 84 (at 205). As described above with respect to FIG. 5, the user interface module 26 displays the tooth map 96 in a foreground of the window 82 and continues to display the selected image 40 in the background of the window 82. The tooth map 96 is also at least partially transparent to allow a user to view the selected image 40 through the map 96. The user interface module 26 also highlights one or more of the depictions 97 based on the anatomical region illustrated in the currently-displayed image 40. Therefore, a user can quickly identify what teeth are displayed in a currently-displayed image 40. In some embodiments, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the user interface module 26 simultaneously displays the tooth map 96 and the image-navigation map 88 within the image-navigation overlay 84.

    [0030] Returning to FIG. 7, with the tooth map 96 displayed, the user interface module 26 determines the location of subsequent user taps (at 215). If the user taps within the image-navigation map 88 (i.e., taps one of the thumbnails 95), the user interface module 26 displays the image corresponding to the selected thumbnail 95 in the GUI 41 behind the image-navigation map 88 (i.e., in the background of the window 82) (at 210), highlights the selected thumbnail 95 in the image-navigation map 88, and highlights one or more of the depictions 97 in the tooth map 96 based on the teeth included in the selected image (at 205). Therefore, as a user navigates through images using the image-navigation map 88, the tooth map 96 notifies the user of the particular teeth or region of teeth represented in the selected image.

    [0031] If the user taps on an area of the window 82 outside of the image-navigation map 88, the user interface module 26 dismisses the navigation assistance provided by the overlap map 88 and the tooth map 96 and removes both maps from view (and the entire image-navigation overlay 84) (at 220). With the maps 88 and 96 no longer displayed, the GUI 41 only includes a selected image 40 (at 225) (see, e.g., FIG. 3). Accordingly, the user interface module 26 determines whether the user taps a region inside or outside of the image-navigation map 88 to determine whether to continue navigation assistance or dismiss navigation assistance. It should also be understood that in some embodiments, a user can directly select a particular depiction 97 within the tooth map 96 to select an image that includes the tooth associated with the selected depiction 97. In addition, in some embodiments, a user can dismiss the tooth map 96 (i.e., remove the tooth map 96 from view) by selecting the "TOOTH MAP" button 92 when the tooth map 96 is displayed.

    [0032] Thus, embodiments of the invention provide, among other things, an image navigation overlay that includes one or more maps for navigating images within a particular series. The maps are displayed in a foreground of a window while a currently-selected image is displayed in the background. Because the maps can be at least partially opaque and at least partially transparent, a user can use the maps to navigate between images in a series while also viewing one of the images (e.g., in a zoomed, full-screen mode). It should be understood that the maps can be displayed based on particular user input (e.g., selecting or tapping a full-screen image) or can be displayed automatically as a user reviews images. Various features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.


    Claims

    1. An image viewing system comprising:

    a source of intraoral dental images (10);

    a computer (30) having a processor (32) and a user interface module (26), the user interface module (26) configured to generate a graphical user interface (41), the graphical user interface (41) having a first window (82) in which at least one intraoral dental image (40) from the source of intraoral dental images (10) is displayed; and

    a screen (38) connected to the computer (30) and configured to display the graphical user interface (41);

    wherein, in response to at least one user input, the graphical user interface (41) is configured to generate an image-navigation map (88) and to display the image-navigation map in a foreground of the first window (82) and the at least one intraoral dental image (40) from the source of intraoral images (10) in a background of the first window (82), wherein the image-navigation map is overlaid upon the at least one intraoral dental image (40), the image-navigation map (88) including one or more thumbnail images (95) of at least one of the intraoral dental images from the source of intraoral dental images (10), each of the thumbnail images (95) indicating a predefined region of a patient's dentition.


     
    2. The system of claim 1, wherein the image viewing system is configured to operate in a first navigation mode and a second navigation mode, wherein the first navigation mode is preferably based on an image location within a series of images.
     
    3. The system of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the image viewing system is configured to operate in at least one navigation mode is based on anatomy, preferably dentition.
     
    4. The system of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the screen (38) is a touch screen that is configured to generate an output in response to at least one user input, wherein the at least one user input is preferably a tap of the touch screen.
     
    5. The system of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the user interface module (26) effects navigation between the at least one intraoral dental image (40) and the image-navigation map (88) in response to a user input on the screen (38).
     
    6. The system of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the image-navigation map (88) is at least partially transparent.
     
    7. The system of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the graphical user interface (41) is configured to generate a tooth map (96), wherein the tooth map (96) is displayed simultaneously with the image navigation map (8 8) and wherein the tooth map (96) includes depictions (97) that graphically represent teeth.
     
    8. The system of claim 7, wherein the user interface module (26) highlights one or more of the depictions (97) in the tooth map (96) based on the anatomical region illustrated in the currently-displayed at least one intraoral dental image (40).
     
    9. A method for controlling an image viewing system, the system including a computer (30) having a processor (32) and a user interface module (26), and a screen (38) connected to the computer (30), the method comprising:

    generating, by the user interface module (26), a graphical user interface (41);

    displaying, on the screen (38), the graphical user interface (41) including one or more intraoral dental images (40) in a first window (82);

    determining a location of a user input on the screen (38); and

    displaying, on the screen (38) and in response to the user input, an image-navigation map in a foreground of the first window (82) and the one or more intraoral dental images (40) in a background of the first window (82), wherein the image-navigation map (88) is overlaid upon the one or more intraoral dental images (40), the image-navigation map (88) including one or more thumbnail images (95) of one or more intraoral dental images, each of the thumbnail images (95) indicating a predefined region of a patient's dentition.


     
    10. The method of claim 9, further comprising controlling the image viewing system in a first navigation mode and a second navigation mode, wherein controlling the image viewing system in the first navigation mode preferably comprises highlighting an image location in a series of images.
     
    11. The method of claim 9 or claim 10, further comprising controlling the image viewing system in at least one navigation mode, wherein controlling the image viewing system in the at least one navigation mode comprises highlighting an anatomical region of an image.
     
    12. The method of any one of claim 9 to claim 11, wherein determining the location of the user input on the screen (38) comprises determining whether the location of the user input is in a region inside or outside the image-navigation map (88).
     
    13. The method of claim 12, further comprising removing the image-navigation map (88) from view when wherein the location of the user input is in a region outside of the overlaid image navigation map (88).
     
    14. The method of any one of claim 9 to claim 13, wherein the displaying, on the screen and in response to the user input, an image-navigation map (88) includes displaying the image-navigation map (88) so that it is at least partially transparent.
     
    15. The method of any one of claim 9 to claim 14, further comprising generating a tooth map (96), and displaying the tooth map (96) as part of the image-navigation map (88).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Bildbetrachtungssystem, das Folgendes aufweist:

    eine Quelle intraoraler dentaler Bilder (10);

    einen Computer (30) mit einem Prozessor (32) und einem Benutzerschnittstellenmodul (26), wobei das Benutzerschnittstellenmodul (26) zum Generieren einer grafischen Benutzeroberfläche (41) konfiguriert ist, wobei die grafische Benutzeroberfläche (41) ein erstes Fenster (82) hat, in dem wenigstens ein intraorales dentales Bild (40) aus der Quelle intraoraler dentaler Bilder (10) angezeigt wird; und

    einen Bildschirm (38), der mit dem Computer (30) verbunden ist und zum Anzeigen der grafischen Benutzeroberfläche (41) konfiguriert ist;

    wobei die grafische Benutzeroberfläche (41) konfiguriert ist, um als Reaktion auf wenigstens eine Benutzereingabe ein Bildnavigationsdiagramm (88) zu generieren und das Bildnavigationsdiagramm in einem Vordergrund des ersten Fensters (82) anzuzeigen und das wenigstens eine intraorale dentale Bild (40) aus der Quelle intraoraler Bilder (10) in einem Hintergrund des ersten Fensters (82) anzuzeigen, wobei das Bildnavigationsdiagramm dem wenigstens einen intraoralen dentalen Bild (40) überlagert ist, wobei das Bildnavigationsdiagramm (88) ein oder mehr Vorschaubilder (95) von wenigstens einem der intraoralen dentalen Bilder aus der Quelle intraoraler dentaler Bilder (10) beinhaltet, wobei jedes der Vorschaubilder (95) eine vordefinierte Region des Gebisses eines Patienten andeutet.


     
    2. System nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Bildbetrachtungssystem konfiguriert ist, um in einem ersten Navigationsmodus und einem zweiten Navigationsmodus betrieben zu werden, wobei der erste Navigationsmodus vorzugsweise auf einer Bildstelle in einer Reihe von Bildern basiert.
     
    3. System nach Anspruch 1 oder Anspruch 2, wobei das Bildbetrachtungssystem konfiguriert ist, um in wenigstens einem Navigationsmodus betrieben zu werden, der auf Anatomie, vorzugsweise Zahnstruktur, basiert.
     
    4. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Bildschirm (38) ein berührungsempfindlicher Bildschirm ist, der zum Erzeugen einer Ausgabe als Reaktion auf wenigstens eine Benutzereingabe konfiguriert ist, wobei die wenigstens eine Benutzereingabe vorzugsweise ein Antippen des berührungsempfindlichen Bildschirms ist.
     
    5. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Benutzerschnittstellenmodul (26) die Navigation zwischen dem wenigstens einem intraoralen dentalen Bild (40) und dem Bildnavigationsdiagramm (88) als Reaktion auf eine Benutzereingabe auf dem Bildschirm (38) bewirkt.
     
    6. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Bildnavigationsdiagramm (88) wenigstens teilweise transparent ist.
     
    7. System nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die grafische Benutzeroberfläche (41) zum Erzeugen eines Zahndiagramms (96) konfiguriert ist, wobei das Zahndiagramm (96) gleichzeitig mit dem Bildnavigationsdiagramm (88) angezeigt wird und wobei das Zahndiagramm (96) Abbildungen (97) beinhaltet, die Zähne grafisch darstellen.
     
    8. System nach Anspruch 7, wobei das Benutzerschnittstellenmodul (26) eine oder mehr der Abbildungen (97) im Zahndiagramm (96) auf Basis der anatomischen Region, die in dem aktuell angezeigten wenigstens einen intraoralen dentalen Zahnbild (40) veranschaulicht wird, markiert.
     
    9. Verfahren zur Steuerung eines Bildbetrachtungssystems, wobei das System einen Computer (30) mit einem Prozessor (32) und einem Benutzerschnittstellenmodul (26) und einen Bildschirm (38), der mit dem Computer (30) verbunden ist, beinhaltet, wobei das Verfahren Folgendes aufweist:

    Erzeugen einer grafischen Benutzeroberfläche (41) durch das Benutzerschnittstellenmodul (26);

    Anzeigen der grafischen Benutzeroberfläche (41), die ein oder mehr intraorale dentale Bilder (40) in einem ersten Fenster (82) beinhaltet, auf dem Bildschirm (38);

    Bestimmen einer Stelle einer Benutzereingabe auf dem Bildschirm (38) und

    Anzeigen eines Bildnavigationsdiagramms (88), auf dem Bildschirm (38) und als Reaktion auf eine Benutzereingabe, in einem Vordergrund des ersten Fensters (82) und des einen oder der mehr intraoralen dentalen Bilder (40) in einem Hintergrund des ersten Fensters (82), wobei das Bildnavigationsdiagramm dem einen oder den mehr intraoralen dentalen Bildern (40) überlagert ist, wobei das Bildnavigationsdiagramm (88) ein oder mehr Vorschaubilder (95) von einem oder mehr intraoralen dentalen Bildern beinhaltet, wobei jedes der Vorschaubilder (95) eine vordefinierte Region des Gebisses eines Patienten andeutet.


     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, das ferner das Steuern des Bildbetrachtungssystems in einem ersten Navigationsmodus und einem zweiten Navigationsmodus aufweist, wobei das Steuern des Bildbetrachtungssystems im ersten Navigationsmodus vorzugsweise das Markieren einer Bildstelle in einer Reihe von Bildern aufweist.
     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9 oder Anspruch 10, das ferner das Steuern des Bildbetrachtungssystems in wenigstens einem Navigationsmodus aufweist, wobei das Steuern des Bildbetrachtungssystems in dem wenigstens einen Navigationsmodus das Markieren einer anatomischen Region eines Bilds aufweist.
     
    12. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 11, wobei das Bestimmen der Stelle der Benutzereingabe auf dem Bildschirm (38) das Bestimmen, ob die Stelle der Benutzereingabe in einer Region inner- oder außerhalb des Bildnavigationsdiagramms (88) ist, aufweist.
     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 12, das ferner das Entfernen des Bildnavigationsdiagramms (88) aus der Ansicht aufweist, wenn die Stelle der Benutzereingabe in einer Region außerhalb des überlagerten Bildnavigationsdiagramms (88) ist.
     
    14. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 13, wobei das Anzeigen eines Bildnavigationsdiagramms (88) auf dem Bildschirm und als Reaktion auf eine Benutzereingabe das Anzeigen des Bildnavigationsdiagramms (88), sodass es wenigstens teilweise transparent ist, beinhaltet.
     
    15. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 14, das ferner das Generieren eines Zahndiagramms (96) und das Anzeigen des Zahndiagramms (96) als Teil des Bildnavigationsdiagramms (88) aufweist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système de visualisation d'images, comprenant :

    une source d'images dentaires intraorales (10) ;

    un ordinateur (30) comportant un processeur (32) et un module d'interface utilisateur (26), le module d'interface utilisateur (26) étant conçu pour générer une interface utilisateur graphique (41), l'interface utilisateur graphique (41) ayant une première fenêtre (82) dans laquelle au moins une image dentaire intraorale (40) en provenance de la source d'images dentaires intraorales (10) est affichée ; et

    un écran (38) connecté à l'ordinateur (30) et conçu pour afficher l'interface utilisateur graphique (41) ;

    l'interface utilisateur graphique (41) étant conçue pour, en réponse à au moins une entrée d'utilisateur, générer une carte de navigation parmi des images (88) et afficher la carte de navigation parmi des images dans un premier plan de la première fenêtre (82) et l'au moins une image dentaire intraorale (40) en provenance de la source d'images intraorales (10) dans un arrière-plan de la première fenêtre (82), la carte de navigation parmi des images étant superposée à l'au moins une image dentaire intraorale (40), la carte de navigation parmi des images (88) comprenant une ou plusieurs images miniatures (95) d'au moins une des images dentaires intraorales en provenance de la source d'images dentaires intraorales (10), chacune des images miniatures (95) indiquant une région prédéfinie de la dentition d'un patient.


     
    2. Système selon la revendication 1, le système de visualisation d'images étant conçu pour fonctionner dans un premier mode de navigation et un second mode de navigation, le premier mode de navigation étant de préférence basé sur un emplacement d'image dans une série d'images.
     
    3. Système selon la revendication 1 ou 2, le système de visualisation d'images étant conçu pour fonctionner dans au moins un mode de navigation basé sur l'anatomie, de préférence la dentition.
     
    4. Système selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'écran (38) est un écran tactile conçu pour générer une sortie en réponse à au moins une entrée d'utilisateur, l'au moins une entrée d'utilisateur étant de préférence une pression sur l'écran tactile.
     
    5. Système selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le module d'interface utilisateur (26) effectue la navigation entre l'au moins une image dentaire intraorale (40) et la carte de navigation parmi des images (88) en réponse à une entrée d'utilisateur sur l'écran (38).
     
    6. Système selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la carte de navigation parmi des images (88) est au moins en partie transparente.
     
    7. Système selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'interface utilisateur graphique (41) est conçue pour générer une carte dentaire (96), la carte dentaire (96) étant affichée simultanément à la carte de navigation parmi des images (88) et la carte dentaire (96) comprenant des représentations (97) qui représentent graphiquement les dents.
     
    8. Système selon la revendication 7, dans lequel le module d'interface utilisateur (26) met en surbrillance une ou plusieurs des illustrations (97) sur la carte dentaire (96) sur la base de la région anatomique illustrée sur l'au moins une image dentaire intraorale (40) en cours d'affichage.
     
    9. Procédé de contrôle d'un système de visualisation d'images, le système comprenant un ordinateur (30) comportant un processeur (32) et un module d'interface utilisateur (26), et un écran (38) connecté à l'ordinateur (30), le procédé consistant à :

    générer, par le module d'interface utilisateur (26), une interface utilisateur graphique (41) ;

    afficher, sur l'écran (38), l'interface utilisateur graphique (41) comprenant une ou plusieurs images dentaires intraorales (40) dans une première fenêtre (82) ;

    déterminer un emplacement d'une entrée d'utilisateur sur l'écran (38) ; et

    afficher, sur l'écran (38) et en réponse à l'entrée d'utilisateur, une carte de navigation parmi des images dans un premier plan de la première fenêtre (82) et la ou les images dentaires intraorales (40) dans un arrière-plan de la première fenêtre (82), la carte de navigation parmi des images (88) étant superposée à la ou les images dentaires intraorales (40), la carte de navigation parmi des images (88) comprenant une ou plusieurs images miniatures (95) d'une ou plusieurs images dentaires intraorales, chacune des images miniatures (95) indiquant une région prédéfinie de la dentition d'un patient.


     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 9, consistant en outre à contrôler le système de visualisation d'images dans un premier mode de navigation et un second mode de navigation, le contrôle du système de visualisation d'images dans le premier mode de navigation consistant de préférence à mettre en surbrillance un emplacement d'image dans une série d'images.
     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 9 ou 10, consistant en outre à contrôler le système de visualisation d'images dans au moins un mode de navigation, le contrôle du système de visualisation d'images dans l'au moins un mode de navigation consistant à mettre en surbrillance une région anatomique d'une image.
     
    12. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 à 11, dans lequel la détermination de l'emplacement de l'entrée d'utilisateur sur l'écran (38) consiste à déterminer si l'emplacement de l'entrée d'utilisateur est dans une région à l'intérieur ou à l'extérieur de la carte de navigation parmi des images (88).
     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 12, consistant en outre à retirer la carte de navigation parmi des images (88) de la vue quand l'emplacement de l'entrée d'utilisateur est dans une région à l'extérieur de la carte de navigation parmi des images (88) superposée.
     
    14. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 à 13, dans lequel l'affichage, sur l'écran et en réponse à l'entrée d'utilisateur, d'une carte de navigation parmi des images (88) consiste à afficher la carte de navigation parmi des images (88) de sorte qu'elle soit au moins en partie transparente.
     
    15. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 à 14, consistant en outre à générer une carte dentaire (96), et afficher la carte dentaire (96) dans le cadre de la carte de navigation parmi des images (88).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description