I would like to encourage everyone to contribute to filling this blog with Augmented Reality topics that have a medical flavor. If you wish your post can be published under your name. Your contribution could be
an abstract of your recent research paper including the related YouTube video and other media,
the presentation of your startup or your personal project
an introduction to your product or research lab,
a biography of an interesting head of this society,
your project proposal and search quests for contributors/investors
Family reasons and my regular job responsibilities do not allow me to spend enough time to fill this blog with all the stories about Augmented Reality in medicine popping up at the moment. For that reason, your help is more than welcome to share information about this exiting subject.
As a representative and speaker for ARRI Medical I got the chance to attend the German annual Meeting CURAC addressing computer and robotic assisted surgery.
Here are a few notes from the meeting:
Dr.-Ing. Andrea Schenk, Fraunhofer MEVIS and Prof. Dr. med. Karl J. Oldhafer, Asklepios Klinik Barmbek together gave a keynote talk on clinical challenges and computer assisted Solutions for liver surgery. Along with a beautiful insight to the workflow how to treat liver disease Mrs. Schenk also introduced the liver Explorer, a tablet PC based augmented reality system. Using the camera and the display as a video see-through AR window allows superimposing a 3D model of the liver enriched with planning information onto the real liver of the patient. Registration is done manually, which is however sufficient for “transferring the important Information into the sterile area of the surgical site” as Dr. Oldhafer says.
MRI-based visualization and augmented reality for breast surgery planning and guidance Christina Stoecker, Markus Harz, Margrethe Schlooz-Vries, Ritse Mann, Kathy Schilling, Joseph Colletta, Joachim Georgii, Torben Paetz, Horst Karl Hahn
Gaze-Based Annotations: Labels on DemandPatrick Saalfeld, André Mewes, Christian Hansen, Bernhard Preim
Bestimmung günstiger Sichtpunkte zur Betrachtung von Vermessungsergebnissen in 3D-Szenen für die Chirurgische InterventionsplanungIvo Rössling, Lars Dornheim, Bernhard Preim
Tool-mounted Ring Displays for Intraoperative NavigationMarc Herrlich, Jöran Benker, David Black, Frank Dylla, Rainer Malaka
Design, evaluation and augmented reality visualization of a vocal fold tissue phantom for optical coherence tomographyDaniel P. Coelho, Mariana Guerra M. Garcia, Andreas Schoob, Dennis Kundrat, Lüder A. Kahrs, Tobias Ortmaier
In a special session chaired by Thomas Wittenberg, Fraunhofer IIS the BMWI funded project “3DInMed” has been introduced to the public. One part of the project will address the integration of Augmented Reality solutions into the digital operating microscope ARRISCOPE of the company ARRI and the digital endoscopes of the company Schölly.
3D-Verarbeitung und Visualisierung mit Optischen Modalitäten Jean-Claude Rosenthal, Fraunhofer HHI, Berlin
Die Digitalisierung der Operationsmikroskopie Christoph Bichlmeier, ARRI, München
Aspekte der 3D Endoskopie Niels Lemke, Schölly, Denzlingen
Panorama Endoskopie – von 2D zu 3DThomas Wittenberg, Fraunhofer IIS
Since 2002 the CURAC conference is the most important meeting for computer and robotic assisted surgery addressing clinical resarch as well as technical fundamental research topics. This year a special session will address Augmented Reality, Visualization and Interfaces.
„Augmented Reality is going to be the next big thing!“ – Even though, I always believed in this or comparable claims since I started developing and experimenting with AR around 10 years ago, I also noted that the idea of fusing real and virtual worlds has already been around for many years. However, it always remained a topic at very specialized research groups meeting at techy conferences.
Mainly technical problems such as too heavy head worn devices, narrow field of views, low image resolutions, insufficient tracking accuracy and robustness made entering the real consumer worlds difficult.
However, things are about to change! Google Glass was one of those first hints showing that also the big players believe and invest in the combination of real and virtual worlds. Although the first version of Google Glass is maybe not the very best hardware solution to make the difference and convince non-believers about the potentials of Augmented Reality, one could imagine that there is more going on behind the scenes and the next version of Google Glass might resolve all doubts.
Microsoft came up with the Kinect sensor, which allowed to combine tracking information with video data to create AR scenes. Among other ideas how to use this sensor, people started developing AR mirror interfaces for multiple applications, e.g. an anatomy mirror. HoloLens now clearly manifests visions and strategies of Microsoft all directing towards AR applications.
Some time ago Facebook bought Oculus Rift, a Virtual Reality interface. Zuckerberg said: “At this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.” It did not take too long until people started converting Oculus Rift into an AR user interface.
And finally Apple bought Metaio, a german Augmented Reality company, and by doing this, they were showing their clear interest and believe.
Having all this big companies on board believing in the idea of Augmented Reality will lead into exciting solutions for all those application fields that had been identified decades ago. I’m looking forward to report on more wonderful AR applications for health care scenarios!