World's first 3D hologram of the brain unveiled in Edinburgh
The first ever hologram of the human brain has been developed, with new 3D images revealing its complex wiring.
Holoxica, the specialist holographic 3D visualisation company, has created the first ever 3D digital hologram of the human brain fibre connections from an MRI scan which will have a profound impact on medical science, giving neurosurgeons and clinicians a fresh insight into identifying, diagnosing and treating a wide range of neurological conditions.
Such conditions, including Alzheimer’s’, Motor Neuron Disease (MND), Stroke and Cancer, affect not only the ageing population, but a broad spectrum of society.
The brain fibre image is based on an advanced medical scanning technique known as functional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or fMRI. The hologram of a healthy brain was made via Fibre Tractography - an advanced technique to track nerve fibre pathways inside the brain using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) that measures the movement of water molecules in the brain’s white matter.
For example, holograms based on DTI-MRI could be used to assess neuron damage in ALS/Motor Neuron Disease (MND) patients before clinical symptoms appear, thus contributing to earlier diagnosis, for a degenerative condition which is normally difficult to detect at an early stage of the disease.
Holographic 3D visualisation of medical images is one of the best ways of understanding the complexities of human anatomy in the future. True 3D holograms are very effective for education, enabling clinician and teaching trainees to take information in quickly and precisely, as Dr Javid Khan, CEO of Holoxica reveals: “A recent study concluded that 3D visualisation is up to 75 percent better than 2D for certain types of tasks including spatial manipulation, finding, identifying or classifying objects, but our future plans is to take 3D imaging to the next level using our holographic video display, which is being designed for medical imaging machines including MRI, CT and Ultrasound scanners. This technology is supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme for SMEs. The Brain Fibre holographic image continues our strategy for making 3D holograms from individual human organs to help advance the frontiers of biomedical science.”
Mambu and the UAE’s digital banking journey
Miljan Stamenkovic enjoys the dynamic and constantly evolving world of fintech banking. In his current role as General Manager for MENA for Mambu, Stamenkovic sees opportunity in abundance.
“When I joined Mambu with my team in 2019, we came with the fintech, entrepreneurial mindset and DNA to build and grow Mambu’s business in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Before 2019, the region used to remind me of a desert, at least in terms of cloud service providers and cloud adoption. But this past year has been a wave of progress.” In November 2020, Mambu opened a new office in Abu Dhabi Global Market, as the region has quickly become a key market for Mambu.
He explains, “There are data protection laws. There are cybersecurity regulations and most importantly, a variety of major tier one cloud service providers that are available. But what particularly excites me here at Mambu is the opportunity to rethink business models together with our clients and really bring them to life. This is where I saw a great fit with Mambu and its composable philosophy.”
Creating a neobank and challenger bank ecosystem has been his ultimate goal. “In my opinion, this actually creates a unique opportunity to partner with some of the best fintechs in the region and build the region’s first and true challenger and neobanks.”
Stamenkovic credits Mambu’s partnership with Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) for the success that has driven the bank forward in the region. “When I think about all the challenger and neobanks that have grown massively over the past decade,there is one common denominator for all these new initiatives. I would say they really operate like a tech company rather than a bank. - BSF is leading this approach in Saudi Arabia.”
He continues, “This brings a competitive advantage for tech companies. These platforms are each managed individually but can be swapped in and out. And when put together, they actually form the backbone of a company's technology capability. This is why tech companies and banks like BSF actually can get products to the market a hundred times faster than their more incumbent peers.”
The implementation, he stresses, is an evolving process, where each component is trialled and checked and swapped in and out according to its effectiveness. But it’s down to the dynamism of the team on the project to initiate these changes. “As critical as technology is to digital transformation, the DNA of people working on these initiatives is the key to success. At BSF they have a true startup and entrepreneurial mentality.”
He explains that Mambu is helping BSF deliver an entire new banking experience while providing soft core banking services hosted, in this case in Saudi Arabia. “Mambu sits at the heart of BSF's new challenger bank and its technology stack. So, this actually enables BSF to take an entirely cloud native approach, having Mambu at the centre of its ‘Digital Engine’.”
Stamenkovic points out, “Mambu enables banking like a modern tech company. Banks used to be built to last, but today they need to be built to change. And that's what we're enabling here.”