University of Alberta’s uses AR technology to project a patient’s internal anatomy onto their body in real-time.
Ever press a flashlight up against the palm of your hand and watch the innards illuminate? Now imagine a machine that did pretty much the same thing, only 1000x more accurately.
That’s what the brilliant folks over at the University of Alberta are working on with ProjectDR, an exciting new AR-powered system capable of displaying a patient’s detailed internal structure directly onto their body in real-time.
The result is a technology akin to something along the lines of x-ray specs. Using ProjectDR, healthcare professionals are able to project advanced medical images such as CT scans and MRI data onto subjects with a surprising amount of accuracy. It even has the ability to isolate and display individual layers and segments of the body, such as specific organs, blood vessels, whatever the operator wishes to see.
What’s even more impressive is the system’s ability to track and follow a patient’s movement. Thanks to a custom software written by Ian Watts, a computer science graduate student and developer of the project alongside fellow graduate student Michael Fiest, an array of motion-trackers using infrared cameras are able to identify and follow a series of trackers attached to the subject. This keeps the projected image tightly secured to the patient at all times.
Needless to say all these features could very well make ProjectDR the next big thing in modern medicine.
“There are lots of applications for this technology, including in teaching, physiotherapy, laparoscopic surgery and even surgical planning,” said Watts.
According to Pierre Boulanger, a professor in Alberta’s Department of Computer Science, ProjectDR will soon enter surgical simulation laboratories to test and analyze potential real world application before being implemented into the actual clinics. However research team members are optimistic that surgical pilot studies are just on the horizon.
For more information you can head over to the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Science page. ProjectDR was first introduced last November at the Virtual Reality Software and Technology Symposium in Gothenburg, Sweden.