Intra-Operative See-Through Head Mounted Displays from the Point of View of a Designer – A Study by Kilian Kreiser

It is an extremely big challenge to integrate a see-through head mounted display into the operating theatre in order to provide surgical staff with Augmented Reality views onto their workspaces. And it has not happened yet. Beside the big impact on the OR infrastructure with respect to additional devices that have to be installed, there are plenty of technical problems to overcome. You need to find a strategy to persuade potential users of such a complex system that can be easily disqualified by clinical restrictions. Or it is simply considered as another bulky piece of technology blocking a daily routine. Following the strategy, at one point those potential users have to identify AR as the gadget they have always missed.  One important component of such a strategy is neglected quite often. This is the design aspect of a technically complex user interface that, at the end, should be very simple and intuitive to use. And it should look good!

In cooperation with the company pilotfish GmbH, Kilian Kreiser addressed this challenge from the point of view of a designer.  Please check his homepage and blog to get to know Kilian’s background and CV.

By Kilian Kreiser:

Image-guided surgery today is a very complicated process, presenting a number of challenges to the acting physician. In addition to medical expertise, it requires good spatial perception and the ability to coordinate and conduct various complex processes at the same time to complete the intervention successfully.

The Augmented Intervention Assistant (AIA) was designed to simplify these processes, create an ergonomical working environment, and provide intelligent support during the operation.

A head-mounted display based system, the AIA combines pre-operational images with the position tracking of instruments, the operating field, and the surgeon to augment the physician’s field of view with virtual information. Surgeons thus gain access to information during interventions that had not yet been available to them in this form up to now.

During the intervention, an augmented reality interface provides additional information such as patient anatomy, position of tumour tissue, pre-operational planning, and other relevant data, allowing the surgeon to precisely mark tumour tissue or critical areas.

The head-mounted displays are loaded on a main station designed as a surgical arm rest. Carrying up to two display units, the main station conducts the fusion of data and transfer to the head-mounted display.

Augmented Intervention Assistant from Kilian Kreiser on Vimeo.

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