Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect is making bog waves in all arenas of our technology world. From art to science and now even medicine, the high selling gaming peripheral is on a real roll here. The latest use of the deive comes with a few tweaks made by a team of engineers, University of Toronto residents and Sunnybrook cancer surgeons.

This group have managed to get “fix” the Kinect to use the technology during surgery to view critical patient imaging. One of the challenges during cancer and other surgeries, is having to leave the sterile field around the patient to view MRI and CT scans. To overcome this, the team hooked up the gaming system to a computer in the operating room, which allows surgical staff to view scans of the patient by making gestures in the air, without ever having to leave the sterile field around the patient.

Doctor Doctor... play with me

Doctor Doctor… play with me

A specific software has been designed to function with the Kinect that’s designed to use three-dimensional data from the Kinect to spot the surgeon and follow his or her gestures and poses. This will allow he surgeon to control programs on the computer without ever touching it or breaking sterility.

“Image-guidance is especially important in cancer surgery. We want to do our best to take out all of the tumour, but at the same time, save as much of the patient’s healthy tissue as possible for better quality of life. The imaging acts like the surgeon's GPS, telling us exactly where everything is inside the patient. And now the surgeon can directly control all of this with a simple wave of the hand — to manipulate the view more specifically to his or her own thinking –and from within the sterile field. To me, this is pure magic for the Operating Room,” says Dr. Calvin Law, surgical oncologist Gastrointestinal Cancer Care Team, Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre, who specializes in complex liver, pancreatic and gastrointestinal surgeries and who helped the team enhance the technology.

Developers are working with their technology across all types of surgery and plan to continue developing the system and studying its benefits in the Operating Room in close partnership with Sunnybrook.

So does mean we’ll be seeing Microsoft throwing in a bit of product placement in all the medical type TV series? The answer is, it’s more than likely.

Publish date: March 31, 2011 1:10 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 7:32 pm

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