What Is Quantitative Image Analysis?

Jennifer Leigh

Quantitative image analysis involves utilizing digital images to provide data and information. This is done with computer technology to recognize patterns, create maps, and process signals within images that cannot be done with the human eye due to the large amount of information generated and collected. There are many different methods for quantitative image analysis including medical scanning, object recognition, and three-dimensional modeling techniques. The techniques are performed by individuals trained in computer engineering, computer vision, and image analysis, who understand how to use technology to analyze data.

Medical imaging is a type of quantitative image analysis.
Medical imaging is a type of quantitative image analysis.

Certain types of images are difficult to analyze without the use of technology, which is why quantitative image analysis is performed. For example, in certain medical fields images can be used to find information about what is happening inside a person's body that otherwise could only be found through a surgical procedure. In security, quantitative image analysis is used to identify people's faces and help eliminate security threats. There are many other applications of quantitative image analysis that are helpful in various situations and to find different types of information.

Medical image processing produces high-contrast images to make it easier to look at blood vessels and bones.
Medical image processing produces high-contrast images to make it easier to look at blood vessels and bones.

The data that is collected from images is analyzed using sophisticated statistical and modeling techniques, depending on the end use. Certain situations call for a three-dimensional model that provides information that would otherwise be very complicated, expensive, and time-consuming to find. In other situations it is more helpful to have graphs, diagrams, and other quantitative information that can provide insight into trends taking place. Other techniques involve analyzing extremely small images that contain a large amount of information by looking at the spatial intensity of the pixels in an image.

Information is found through quantitative image analysis by such methods as wavelengths of light, cross-sections of materials, and video, depending on the purpose of the analysis. Once the images are collected, they are then processed through computers to compute the data into binary code that can then be analyzed further. Images can be changed, manipulated, or transformed easily because the computer software being used is highly advanced and technical.

Analysis of images takes place in a number of fields by statisticians, computer scientists, and engineers. Individuals involved in this line of work generally have advanced degrees in the subject in order to understand the complicated computer programming and statistical techniques necessary to make sense of the large amount of data. As new technology is constantly being developed, the field of quantitative image analysis continues to change and grow regularly.

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