|Kinect for Windows enables surgeons to use gestures to manipulate medical imagery while in the surgical theater. Image credit: Microsoft Research|
Medical imaging today gives surgeons an ability to obtain a virtual peek inside the human body in a way that rivals the campy 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, in which a team of physicians is miniaturized and injected into a wounded diplomat to save his life.
In today’s operating theater, though, those virtual images can be difficult to retrieve and manipulate. A surgeon can’t use a mouse or keyboard, because they are unsterile and pose a risk of infection. A surgeon can give instructions to someone else, who then can operate a mouse or keyboard, but the surgeon must break concentration to say, “Right … right … up a little … OK.”
Now, a team at Microsoft Research Cambridge consisting of social scientists, computer scientists, and designers has used the Kinect for Windows hardware and SDK to simplify this process. It enables doctors to use simple hand gestures to change, move, or zoom in on CT scans, MRIs, and other medical images. In initial development, the Kinect for Windows-based system has thrilled surgeons who have seen it and who believe it could help make surgery faster and more accurate. The hope is that these systems will deliver better outcomes to patients when fully field-tested and approved.
Watch this technology in action:
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