Recently, the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg had developed anaugmented reality iPad app (MITK pille) that overlays the virtual image of internal organs on the real-life image of the patient using the iPad 2’s camera.
This intrigued me as I had studied the concept of overlaying virtual images on real patient “data” for over 2 years. In 2009, I defended my Master’s Thesis on “Interface design for a virtual reality-enhanced image-guided surgery platform using surgeon-controlled viewing techniques” (it is a mouthful to describe!) – and oh-how similar this is to my topic 3 years ago!
Anyway, it got me thinking… how much has changed from 2009 to now in terms of implementing virtual reality in the operating room?
Problems encountered in 2009
- Potential errors in medical image registration
- Cumbersome nature of magnetic and optical tracking in intra-operative situations
- Sterile environment of an operating room
Problems encountered today 2012
- It is likely each of the three points I just mentioned are just as relevant today as they were 3 years ago…