"The future of surgery is not about blood and guts; the future of surgery is about bits and bytes.”
/Dr. Richard Satava/

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seminar talk at Hopkins

I was offered the unique chance and honor to give this week's ERC/LCSR seminar talk at Hopkins. You can access the full presentation here. My talk summarized three research projects I was mostly working on towards my PhD:
  •  Stochastic method for error propagation: In certain critical surgical procedures, physicians extensively rely on the help of navigation systems, with accuracy metrics provided by the manufacturers. Depending on the setup, inherent system errors can accumulate and lead to significant deviation in position. It is crucial to determine and display the overall task execution error-the registration and tracking errors enlarged by multiplying imperfect homogeneous transformations. The stochastic approach presented offers an easy and straightforward solution to map and scale the error propagation. 
  •  Detection and compensation of intraoperative motion: One of the major challenges with integrated surgical robot systems is to maintain the accuracy of the pre-operative registration procedures, and to ensure that all motions of the hardware setup or patient are promptly noticed. By applying a deterministic approach (similar to behavior-based control), it becomes possible to accurately monitor and compensate for any spatial changes with a selective algorithm. The concept developed was tested on a neurosurgical prototype system built at the CISST ERC at the Johns Hopkins University. The new technique can be used with various image-guided systems, offering new ways to enhance their capabilities. 
  • Control architecture for telesurgery: Error compensation and guidance of surgical devices are gaining importance in the evolving field of long distance telesurgery. Effective control requires the appropriate handling of the latency in the communication, while ensuring the stability of the devices. A control structure was designed and tested in simulations for telesurgery, relying on empirical controller design methods.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

CIS news

CIS news from around the globe:
Job opportunities:
Picture credit: University of Tokyo

Monday, February 14, 2011

Da Vinci news

Folks at the Holmes Regional Medical Center played around with the da Vinci:

While Dr. Hager and his students hooked up the robot with the Kinect:

Looking for a job at Intuitive? Look around at their website! They also have various internships.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

IGSTK User Group Meeting

The 3rd User Group Meeting for the Image-Guided Surgery Toolkit (IGSTK) [I-G-stick] was held before the SPIE conference in Orlando.
"IGSTK is an Open Source software toolkit designed to enable biomedical researchers to rapidly prototype and create new applications for image-guided surgery. This toolkit provides functionalities that are commonly needed when implementing image-guided surgery applications, such as integration with optical and electromagnetic trackers, manipulation and visualization of DICOM datasets":
  1. a method for registration of the preoperative image to the physical space of the patient,  
  2. tracking for intra-operative localization of instruments,
  3. user interface that displays images and the position of instruments,
  4. a workstation that runs and connects the applications.
The meeting was run by Kevin Cleary, and besides, a lot of the users gave a brief intro from neuro to brachy and pediatric applications. The presentations are available at the event's site.
You can learn more about IGSTK at its wiki.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Single-incision robotic surgery is taking off

Single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), also called single-port access (SPA), or single-site (LESS) have been widely popularized recently, having claimed less pain and faster recovery. Robotic fans threw themselves at the technique, and the da Vinci has been used for several human procedures, mostly through the umbilicus:

In the mean time, fierce criticism has emerged, emphasizing the lack of  objective comparable studies. If you know of any, share with us!