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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Advanced clinical, research and training tools for IGS from UQueens

Finally, we are entering the age when research groups are developing support tools that reaches beyond their own project, and can be effectively used in various setups. A great exampli is the
Plus (Public software Library for UltraSound imaging research). PLUS is  a software package containing library functions and applications for tracked ultrasound image acquisition, calibration, and processing.
Development of the library is supported by Cancer Care Ontario by funding an Applied Cancer Research Unit at the Laboratory for Percutaneous Surgery (PerkLab) at Queen's University.
Learn more about it from Dr. András Lassó, senior engineer of the PerkLab:
"Medical imaging and tool navigation systems are rapidly evolving and becoming increasingly available for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. Images can be acquired in multiple modalities (X-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI, PET), in higher dimensions (3D, 4D, …), often during the procedure, at the rate of several images per second. Tool navigation systems are typically used during minimally invasive procedures to visualize the position of surgical tools relative to the target organ.
Imaging and navigation technologies have a wide range of applications  in routine clinical use, research, and training. Clinical uses include simple needle-based interventions, such as biopsy, aspiration, and injection. Researchers apply the new technologies to develop methods that make traditional procedures simpler, shorter, less invasive, or more effective. Multi-modality imaging and position tracking can also be used for surgical skill training and assessment and as an aid for learning patient anatomy.  Widespread adoption of these technologies has been hindered by the limited functionality, lack of customizability, and high cost of dedicated commercial image guidance systems. Fortunately, alternative solutions exist today.
3D Slicer is a freely available software application for medical image visualization and analysis. It is developed by the Surgical Planning Laboratory at Harvard Medical School in collaboration with multiple leading institutions worldwide. 3D Slicer enables importing, enhancement, editing, fusion, visualization, and analysis of medical imaging data, treatment plans, annotations, surgical tools, and any other custom objects. The software application consists of numerous modules that can be easily configured  to accomplish custom procedures. Functionalities that are not readily available in the application core can be implemented in custom extensions.
Our group at the Laboratory for Percutaneous Surgery develops custom 3D Slicer extensions for image-guided interventions, surgical skill training and evaluation, and radiation therapy. We provide generic modules for  acquisition,  replay, and analysis of  live image and navigation data. Specialized modules are created for  planning and targeting  for  various  image-guided  needle insertion procedures. All the extensions are available with the same completely free, non-restrictive license as the 3D Slicer core application. We are open to collaborate with clinical and engineering teams worldwide to utilize and further enhance the developed platform. "

If you are interested in using PLUS, Dr. Lassó will give a demonstrative presentation in Budapest, September 27, 14:30 at the UniVet. Ask for more details!

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