New surgical planning tool can help surgeons see underneath their patients' skin— 4 things to know

Shayna Korol -   Print  |

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada developed ProjectDR, an augmented reality system that allows medical images such as MRI and CT scans to be displayed directly on the body in a way that moves as the patient does.

Here are four things to know:


1. The system allows clinicians to see a patient's internal anatomy within the context of the body without incision. ProjectDR includes a motion-tracking system using infrared cameras and markers on the patient's body and a projector to display the images.


2. ProjectDR can present segmented images if the clinician is only interested in seeing the lungs or blood vessels, for example.


3. The developers see applications for the technology in laparoscopic surgery, surgical planning, teaching and physiotherapy.


4. The program's viability will be tested in a clinical setting. ProjectDR will be deployed in an operating room in a surgical simulation laboratory to test the benefits and drawbacks of its use in real world surgical applications. Pilot studies are also being conducted for the system's usability in teaching chiropractic and physical therapy procedures.


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