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Methods and Applications of Statistics in Clinical Trials, Volume 2: Planning, Analysis, and Inferential Methods by N. Balakrishnan

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Chapter 13

Imaging Science in Medicine I: Overview

William R. Hendee

13.1 Introduction

Natural science is the search for “truth” about the natural world. In this definition, truth is defined by principles and laws that have evolved from observations and measurements about the natural world that are reproducible through procedures that follow universal rules of scientific experimentation. These observations reveal properties of objects and processes in the natural world that are assumed to exist independently of the measurement technique and of our sensory perceptions of the natural world. The purpose of science is to use these observations to characterize the static and dynamic properties of objects, preferably in quantitative terms, and to integrate these properties into principles and, ultimately, laws and theories that provide a logical framework for understanding the world and our place in it.

As a part of natural science, human medicine is the quest for understanding one particular object, the human body, and its structure and function under all conditions of health, illness, and injury. This quest has yielded models of human health and illness that are immensely useful in preventing disease and disability, detecting and diagnosing conditions of illness and injury, and designing therapies to alleviate pain and suffering and restore the body to a state of wellness or, at least, structural and functional capacity. The success of these efforts depends on our depth of understanding ...

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