Kinect used by surgeons in new UK research project

Kinect continues to evolve well beyond its gaming origins. This week, King's College London announced it is participating in a pilot program with Microsoft Research on a way to use Kinect technology in the operating room.

The project involves using a software program that takes the 3D image of a patient’s anatomy. The program then makes several 2D images out of that 3D creation. With the help of Kinect, a surgeon can them manipulate those 2D images of his or her patient via gesture or voice command.

How is this helpful to doctors? Well, if you have seen any of the tons of medical shows on TV, you know that they have to scrub their hands and maintain sterility. Using the computer program powered by the Kinect technology should allow surgeons to help maintain a sterile environment in the operating room. The program could also eliminate the need for so many assistants in the room as well.

At the moment, the test program is being conducted at St Thomas’ Hospital for vascular patients. It is hoped that the Kinect-based technology could be expanded in the future to let doctors manipulate 3D models and even assist in neurosurgery.

Source: King's College London | Image via King's College London

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AR556 said,
I hate the pic Neowin always uses for Kinect stories. I want to punch the rubbery human in the face!

Time to see a anger management specialist.

The program could also eliminate the need for so many assistants in the room as well.

This is the biggest factor. I've worked in theatres and there are a lot of people milling around. Most don't do anything for the majority of the procedure, they wait until they are given a job to do, like move a TV screen so the surgeon can see it properly. If they can be replaced, it will save time, money, and leave these extra people to do something more productive elsewhere in the department.

Sterility is built into the working regime these days, you don't even have to think about it. The overcrowding is a big factor though. Older theatres are small and there's a lot of bulky equipment that has to fit inside.

I wonder if the voice commands would work properly as surgeons wear masks over their mouths so it wouldnt be loud and clear speech.