Student team brings augmented reality to the operating room

By | June 13, 2019
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Armed with an augmented reality headset, a surgeon browses an app designed by three CS students to view the interior of a patient during an operation. (CSE)

Three computer science students and alumni have launched operating room monitors and screens into the virtual world of augmented reality. Mitchell Bigland, Nicholas Keuning, and Chase Austin, working with doctors David Chesney and Marcus Jarboe of Pediatric Surgery, have developed an app for the Microsoft Hololens to stream a video feed of a patient’s internals directly to the surgeon’s field of vision, helping them keep their eyes on their tools.

The app takes the feed from the surgeon’s laparascope (a slim camera and light that can fit into small incisions) and streams it with a Hololens, where it’s always in the user’s frame of view and easy to reposition or resize with gestures and voice control. The app also gives doctors the ability to load images of previous diagnostic scans and arrange them alongside the video stream. Users can manipulate the position and size of the scans, as well as alter their brightness and contrast in real time.