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Input Devices Medicine Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

Kinect In the Operating Room 54

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the hands-off dept.
colinneagle writes with an excerpt from Network World: "Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London began trials of a Kinect-driven camera last week that would sense body position, and by waving his or her hands, the surgeon can sift through medical images, such as CT scans or real-time X-rays, while in the middle of an operation. During surgery, a surgeon will stop and consult medical images anywhere from once an hour to every few minutes. So the surgeon doesn't have to leave the table, the doctor will work with assistants, but sometimes, if you want things done to your satisfaction, you have to do it yourself. Dr. Tom Carrell, a consultant vascular surgeon at Guy's and St Thomas', described an operation on a patient's aorta earlier this month to New Scientist. 'Up until now, I'd been calling out across the room to one of our technical assistants, asking them to manipulate the image, rotate one way, rotate the other, pan up, pan down, zoom in, zoom out.' With the Kinect, he says, 'I had very intuitive control.'"
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Kinect In the Operating Room

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 19, 2012 @02:06PM (#40052787)

    "Siri, show me an X-Ray of Samuel Ray."

    "Playing songs by... Sugar Ray."

    "Siri, what allergies does Susan Fay have?"

    "Let me see... Here are allergists near Santa Fe."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In school during exams you arent allowed to refer to reference materials
    Why must real life operations be any different?
    Surgeons and doctors shouldnt cheat
    (brings back memories about memorising the Java AWT API)

    • school needs to be the other way open book / open reference.

      Do want people who can cram for tests and pass with no idea on how to do what it covers or people who what they doing and know how to look up stuff they need?

      Even more so in a tech job memorising the Java AWT API So some PHB will hire some with a good GPA due to being good at taking tests vs some who did the work on there own or went to a test school where a test is more likely to cover real WORK.

      • by swalve (1980968)
        If it is open book, what's the point of testing? It might work if the only passing grade is 100%, I guess. But the point of testing is to test someone's knowledge and possibly experience. Not their ability to copy stuff out of a book.
        • In the real world what matters is whether you can find the right answer quickly, not whether you pulled it out of your ass, out of a book, or off google. The ability to get it done right and move on to whatever crisis is next is what counts.

        • by Capt. Skinny (969540) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @03:46PM (#40053293)
          If you're taking tests where you can copy the answers directly out of a book, then your instructor has failed. A successful test should reveal a person's understanding of the subject matter, not a person's ability to recollect details without applying them.
        • but do you want the book answer or some on Google who has done it for real now for tech jobs Google is grate to look up stuff and some times you get more then 1 answer.

          • by Alex Belits (437) *

            and some times you get more then 1 answer.

            And, better yet, all of them are wrong, though grammatically correct.

    • The funniest thing about a Kinect in a medical environment is that much more powerful and precise 3D tracking cameras are already relatively commonplace for intricate surgeries like hip replacement. These tend to be instruments costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, with code that has actually been verified. (Suffice to say this headline was terrifying until I realised it was just about looking through a picture book.)

      ...but to answer your question, I find it highly likely that you already know t

    • by LocalH (28506)

      Doesn't seem like they're "cheating" to me, if they're looking at images taken from the patient they are operating on.

  • it's been done. [youtube.com] I don't know what they're so excited about.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This exact kinect image manipulation scheme was shown on Discovery channel? like 6 months ago.
    Except it was a hospital in Canada.

  • To be honest, I've been waiting for this since day one. I'm even puzzled why Microsoft didn't release this to the industry world before the gaming world, since it has such potential in other areas too, especially if we can make the rest of the Stark Industries light and magic happen (reliable voice recognition and free-space three-dimensional holographic projection).

    That way, surgeons (to stick with the article's example) would be able to view the data anywhere over the surgical site, architects and enginee

    • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @02:47PM (#40052955)

      Probably their X-Box people are the ones who developed it, so that was where its use originated. Also, starting w/ X-box starts it as something that is a great new toy which has lots of really useful industrial applications--it's much better marketing than making it a piece of medical or industrial equipment first.

    • As best I can tell, MS purchased the kinect technology with the relatively narrow objective of coming up with something that could beat the Wii's motion-gimmick factor without requiring a new generation of console. They didn't even do the traditional vapor-announce-to-discourage-competitors of a Windows SDK until well after they had finished losing their shit at the people who went ahead and made their own. I don't know if they got a good price from the guys they licensed it from, based on some agreement to
    • by swalve (1980968)
      Honestly, the only reason this is a good thing for surgeons is that they can't directly manipulate the computer because of sterility issues. Besides that application, it doesn't seem like a very intuitive interface for much of anything besides playing games.
      • I'm not exactly sure...

        Take a CAT-scan, for example. They are done in 3D right away, so one could have a high-resolution scan of the affected area, and look at it on the monitor/over the surgical site (if we look ahead and imagine a holographic interface to boot, because why not), then take hold of the model with their off hand, and rotate it to look at it from different angles by rotating his/her hand, while the dominant hand keeps working, say, by holding a clamp. That seems very useful to me.

      • Remote one handed manipulation of data on a computer with immediate feedback?

        I expect this to become a default interface for lots of tech.

        Think of it like magic. Imagine having an invisible remote control for anything. One you can't lose. Up, down, left, right and select. That's all you really need with a good UI for feedback.

        Think microwave, oven, tv, dishwasher, air, climate control, media center. Think vending machines, fast food menus, ATM, hotel check-in.

        It's a touch screen without the need to touch (o

    • by tomhath (637240)
      This would be illegal in the US, because the Kinect hasn't been certified as a medical device by the FDA. And the first time one conked out during a surgery that had a bad outcome Microsoft would be sued for $$$
      • There's not a lot of certification to be done, to be brutally honest. In fact, none, it's not a medical device as such, since it's not used to actually operate on the patient. As for conking out, the surgeon should still be able to complete the procedure, or they may fall back to using assistants in the heat of the moment. Those are always available...

        Of course, I'm only speaking as a layperson regarding the certification. But that's what would be logical, just spray the thing with a fast-evaporating disinf

      • We use perfectly normal computers with plain old keyboards and mice in ORs all the time. As long as it's not connected to the patient or being used for diagnosis or treatment, it's not a medical device. A certified diagnostic-grade monitor for a radiologist is a medical device, for example, but the monitors the rest of us use to look at films are nothing special.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just make sure that he puts the scalpel down before doing all that gesturing.

  • by optimism (2183618) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @02:53PM (#40052985)

    ...by waving his or her hands, the surgeon can sift through medical images, such as CT scans or real-time X-rays, while in the middle of an operation

    I know that everyone has different UI proclivities, but I have trouble understanding this one.

    Seems to me, the ideal interface would allow the surgeon to use it without removing their hands from their work, or wasting energy flailing their hands around to get the info they want, or moving their vision elsewhere, etc.

    If voice control doesn't work for them, I'd suggest a set of foot pedals to keep their hands free. That works well for guitarists, who also have to make precision hand movements.

    Also perhaps a heads-up display. That works for fighter pilots, who need to stay absolutely focused on task.

    That said, since my life could be quite literally in a surgeon's hands, I want them to be as comfortable as possible with whatever UI they choose. So having another option is good. :)

    • allow the surgeon to use it without removing their hands from their work... I'd suggest a set of foot pedals

      Personally, I'd prefer that my surgeon not be standing on one foot while wielding a scalpel.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      ...by waving his or her hands, the surgeon can sift through medical images, such as CT scans or real-time X-rays, while in the middle of an operation

      I know that everyone has different UI proclivities, but I have trouble understanding this one.

      Seems to me, the ideal interface would allow the surgeon to use it without removing their hands from their work, or wasting energy flailing their hands around to get the info they want, or moving their vision elsewhere, etc.

      If voice control doesn't work for them, I'd suggest a set of foot pedals to keep their hands free. That works well for guitarists, who also have to make precision hand movements.

      Also perhaps a heads-up display. That works for fighter pilots, who need to stay absolutely focused on task.

      That said, since my life could be quite literally in a surgeon's hands, I want them to be as comfortable as possible with whatever UI they choose. So having another option is good. :)

      Actually, they already use footpedals for this in many hospitals. Works quite well. A much more low tech approach would be "Nurse, next page" and a nurse a keyboard and mouse would do the work. The reason, the doctors have had to leave the table in the past had to do with they were viewing physical images or crt screens, neither of which work very well right at the operating table. Now, with flat panel screens and even x-rays are digitized, they can have it right there in a very small footprint. The q

    • Foot controls are used for cautery or triggering x-ray images in a lot of cases. The problem vs a guitarist's foot pedals is that a surgeon can't see his and operate at the same time - the pedals have to be placed under the operative table. This limits the precision of what they can be used for. Ophthalmologists have a much more precise set of foot controls because they can sit down for surgery and thus don't need to worry about losing balance while searching for the proper control with their foot. Heads-up
    • by Alex Belits (437) *

      foot pedals

      That, and possibly eye tracking while surgeon is looking at the screen.

      But that makes too much sense. Better use NEW MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY!!!

  • ...yet the surgery instructions I received in the beginning of this month were partially handwritten. The amount of technological backwardness in health industry compared to everything else is shocking.

    • We're "technologically backward" because most of the technical innovations don't decrease the amount of time it takes to do our work - they increase it. Those that do save time are rapidly and universally adopted (the best example of this I can think of is radiology software - because it saved every physician from having to go down to the reading room to look at films).
      • by mapkinase (958129)

        Then which category would you refer incompetent staff I meet half of the time I visit a doctor? They can't answer questions they are supposed to answer.

        Also the amount of bureaucracy is staggering. Why someone from the family now need to be present all the time during simple 10-minute knee surgery just because patient is having anesthesia?

        All the moronic crap they invented in the last 10 years serves just one purpose - minimize potential litigation, not to make better service.

        Health industry is just anothe

        • by demonlapin (527802) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @08:09AM (#40056523) Homepage Journal

          Why someone from the family now need to be present all the time during simple 10-minute knee surgery just because patient is having anesthesia?

          Because you have to be discharged to the care of a responsible adult after having received general anesthesia, and because experience has shown that people who show up alone but "will have someone come to pick me up later" usually don't have anyone actually show up. Would you prefer that these people drive themselves home? Would you care to take on the liability for allowing them to do so? Thank your state and federal legislators for allowing the law to be used this way.

          Screw you.

          Whatever floats your boat.

  • In the past, the doctor left the table, because the images, whether digital or film, weren't located at the table. Other hospitals have used a foot controller, kind of like a cross between a guitar pedal and a trackball to accomplish this. The kinect is an interesting approach. Time will tell if putting down your surgical instruments to wave your hands around is an effective route to doing this or not.

  • Considering my friend's kinect takes about 5 tries to perform remotely complex commands and we have to hide under a bunker of pillows we nicknamed the kinect bunker to get it to stop recognizing the wrong person, I'm not sure it's quite at surgical grade levels. Even for just imaging and not interaction, it's not very accurate. If it was a person, it'd be declared legally blind so I think perhaps a webcam or photographic camera would be more helpful.
  • Now that would be an awesome way to do surgery. Just make sure your backup dancers are up to snuff.

  • This is recent news? They actually demoed this at Microsoft TechEd in Atlanta last May...

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