Image: Researchers have developed 3D-ARILE, an augmented reality (AR) system that provides doctors with a navigation aid for lymph node removal (Photo courtesy of Trivisio Prototyping).
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD (Darmstadt, Germany), in collaboration with The Clinic for Dermatology at Essen University Hospital (Hufelandstraße, Essen, Germany) and Trivisio Prototyping GmbH (Trier, Germany), have developed 3D-ARILE, an augmented reality (AR) system that provides doctors with a navigation aid for lymph node removal. The novel system superimposes a virtual image of the exact position of lymph nodes using data glasses. This allows surgeons to identify the precise location of the affected lymph nodes, enabling them to be completely removed.
The AR system comprises hardware and powerful medical navigation software, including the data glasses with an integrated camera and two displays, designed specifically for medical applications, as well as two infrared and two visual cameras. These four optical devices are integrated in a cube-shaped unit suspended over the operating table. The software includes an image processing system, which detects fluorescent light emitted by the lymph nodes, uses this data to calculate their 3D coordinates, and displays their position in the data glasses.
IT software also performs the necessary calibration of the hardware system, while sophisticated algorithms perform calculations on the data extracted from the camera images. The entire hardware can be controlled via 3D-ARILE, which also includes the user interface for the operating surgeon. The researchers have conducted numerous tests to confirm that the AR glasses are light and extremely comfortable to wear.
A prototype of 3D-ARILE will be presented to the public by the researchers at the MEDICA trade fair in Düsseldorf from November 13 to 16.
Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD
The Clinic for Dermatology at Essen University Hospital