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

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Electromagnetic Tracking in the Operating Room

I was asked by Intuitive to give a seminar talk on the basics of electro-magnetic tracking. 
"In the past decades, many new trends appeared in interventional medicine. Electromagnetic Tracking (EMT) has been introduced to medical applications as an effective tool for navigation. However, magnetic fields can be severely distorted by ferromagnetic materials and electronic equipment, which is a major barrier towards their wider application. The focus of our research is to determine and compensate the inherent errors of different EMTs, in order to improve their accuracy. In the past decade, significant research work has already been invested into EMT performance analysis (Hummel, Wilson, Maier-Heim, etc.), yet there is still a need for a method providing objective, comparable results in different clinical environments.
Within an international consensus group, we aim to advance the state-of-the-art, to develop a standardized, simple and repeatable assessment protocol. This would lead to the ability to determine tracking errors with sub-millimeter accuracy, hence increasing the measurement precision and reliability. We aim to disseminate best practices, provide an easily reproducible calibration method, publishing the design templates of accuracy phantoms and supporting the process and evaluation of measurement data. This should allow the wider spread of the technique, and eventually lead to the repeatable and comparable assessment of EMT systems."

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