Out of the many technologies being applied to healthcare delivery today, augmented reality (AR) is one of the most exciting. We believe AR can be applied to surgical robots to provide surgeons with preoperative data, intraoperative data, and useful computational tools directly in their field of vision. To have a universal AR system that does not require special access to the robot's data streams, we have chosen to implement our AR system by applying computer vision techniques to the robot's stereo camera images.
The research objective of this project is to test the hypothesis that real-time stereo video analysis and AR can increase safety and task efficiency in robot-assisted surgery. Specifically, we aim to develop a robust AR system that delivers the envisioned feedback to a surgeon while he or she controls a surgical robot identical to those used on human patients [ ].
In addition to writing all of the system’s software for real-time execution, we will design clinically relevant simulated surgical tasks. We will then conduct a human-subject study to gather both quantitative and qualitative feedback from potential users so that we can definitively evaluate the future potential of this new approach to AR in surgery.