Despite recent research and commercial interest in breast density quantification, these types of software tools aren't yet widely used, Balkman said.
"I would like to see cloud computing level the playing field in this area of breast imaging by expanding access and participation," he told AuntMinnie.com. "Open-source computer vision software has come far in the past decade and is ripe for implementing a universally accessible breast density quantification Web app, or at least an all-comers online research test bench."
Balkman's approach makes use of a cloud server from Amazon Web Services, open-source computer vision software tools, breast density analysis algorithms, and a public website. After a mammogram is uploaded to the website, it can be processed in less than 10 seconds. The user then receives quantitative data as well as a visual representation of the processed images.
"An open-source Web application for processing breast MRI and mammography images demonstrates the feasibility of using cloud computing to expand access to breast density quantification," Balkman said.