Medical Augmented Reality at ISMAR 2011

From October 26th to 29th, 2011, the Augmented Reality met at ISMAR 2011 taking place this year in Basel, Switzerland. In addition to the classic Science and Technology track, since ISMAR 2009 in Orlando Florida, the conference also asks for submissions regarding topics that fit into the field Arts, Media and Humanities. This addition attracted many application and design oriented innovators being motivated to take the technology out of the boxes to develop eye-catching AR gadgets.

According to the organizing committee, the Science and Technology track received 173 submissions, while 26 papers and 27 posters were finally accepted. This results in an acceptance rate of around 30%. The Arts, Media and Humanities track received 45 papers and 8 posters while 14 papers and 6 posters went through to be presented at the event.

Scanning the proceedings, there were two contributions having a medical background. One comes from the project Computer Aided Medical Diagnosis and Surgery System (CAMDASS). The objective of the project is to develop ultrasound augmentation to be used by astronauts on spaceflights. Augmentation of ultrasound is an extremely nice application area for the medical field. In contrast to CT or MRI snapshots at a certain time, US provides life invasive images showing the patient’s anatomy. Already in the 90ties Bajura et al. identified this promising application domain and presented for instance a system to do AR supported ultrasound diagnostics of pregnant women. The CAMDASS project and system that has been developed in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) has been presented at the conferences as a poster as well as a demo.

  • Computer Aided Medical Diagnosis and Surgery System: Augmented Reality for Ultrasound Procedure Guidance on the International Space Station
    Y. Nevatia, K. Chintamani, T. Meyer, M. Ilzkovitz (Space Applications Services), A.Runge, N. Fritz (European Space Agency)

A second contribution targets an Augmented Reality based therapy system that is intended to support treatment of patients suffering from hand and upper limb motor impairments. In particular their large study generating statistics from forty-five participants should attract your attention! The full paper had been presented as an oral talk at the conference.

  • Out of Reach? – A Novel AR Interface Approach for Motor Rehabilitation
    H. Regenbrecht, G. McGregor, C. Ott, S. Hoermann, T. Schubert, L. Hale, J. Hoermann, B. Dixon, E. Franz

A third work has been published by the group around Nassir Navab and the company SurgicEye GmbH. Like the CAMDASS project, this work is driven by a concrete application of Medical Augmented Reality. In this case, the technology is used inside the OR. It has passed the experimental stage and is really used with patients. This is a perfect example how to take high-tech gadgets out of the lab spaces to become part of real world applications.

  • MR in OR: First analysis of AR/VR visualization in 100 intra-operative Freehand SPECT acquisitions
    A. Okur, S.-A. Ahmadi, A. Bigdelou, T. Wendler, N. Navab