Innovation That Matters

Medical imaging system | Photo source Pexels

Interactive AR imaging helps doctors plan surgery


Researchers have developed a system that projects real-life internal images onto a patient’s body for improved surgical training and preparation.

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Researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, developed an imaging system that projects real-life CAT scans and MRIs onto bodies. Named ProjectDR, the new imaging system helps medical staff plan procedures before making an incision. Currently, the system is in development, with the Faculty of Science team working to improve the depth of the imaging.  The team are additionally working on improving the system’s ability to automatically calibrate size and movement.

Using infrared cameras and markers on a patient’s body, the system tracks a person’s movements to correctly project internal structures. The program is capable of projecting large systems such as lungs. It is also able to narrow in on small functions such as blood vessels. Its ability to adapt to a particular clinician’s needs has captured the interest of the medical community. So far, its projected uses include physiotherapy and laparoscopic surgery.

Medical technology is shaping the heathcare industry in myriad ways, from the tools professionals are using to new diagnostic techniques. With VR, AR and 3D printing, research and training are also adapting to innovation, and surgeons are now able to practice tricky procedures on patient-specific organ replicas. Another innovation is enabling clinicians to study microscopic tissues printed onto a chip, helping to model disease progression and the effects of drug use. With access to resources, including funding, highly competitive, how might the power of crowdfunding be used to help advance medical R&D?




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