Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Vision in the Halls of Medicine

Although the RP-7 can take patients by surprise, the overall reaction is said to be positive once they get used to the system.
In addition to navigation, the RP-7 control station allows the doctor to access a wealth of digital data.
The RP-7 allows critical care specialists, who may not be on staff at all facilities, to consult remotely.
The VECTRA's 3D facial model allows the surgeon to show the patient in unique detail an area before and after surgery.
The VECTRA captures a facial 3D model in under 1.5 ms.

By Keith Reid

A hospital's antiseptic aura, shiny linoleum floors and halls filled with busy medical professionals is a world far removed from your typical industrial assembly line. However, less expensive industrial imaging technologies are increasingly grabbing a foothold in the realm of day-to-day medicine. And it's not just in exotic applications.

Picture the hospital scene described above, only now remove that traditional scene of the doctor making the rounds to visit his or her patients. Substitute a robotic device similar to a "utility robot" from a science fiction movie performing the same task, controlled by the doctor over the Internet using a joystick from a remote office. At the core of the system is a practical and effective implementation of industrial vision technology.

Then, move across the medical campus to the offices of a plastic surgeon where a patient is considering a cosmetic procedure. In the past, a professional or "prosumer" camera would be used to provide "before and after" images of the area being modified. Now, a multi-camera system based on industrial vision technology can provide a high resolution, three dimensional mapped image of the patient's face. The two dimensional requirements are facilitated with greater speed, and the potential and actual results of the surgery can be further explored in 3D.

Dr. Robot

InTouch Health (Santa Barbara, Calif.), is a privately held robotics technology company founded by its current CEO, Dr. Yulun Wang. Since 2003, Its RP-7 Remote Presence Robotic System allows health care professionals to consult with hospital-based patients and health care staff from a remote location.

"One way to think about the system is as a full two-way audio/video video conference system on a mobile platform," said Marco Pinter, InTouch director of video and AI technologies. "The head of the robot is a flatscreen computer monitor with full pan and tilt, so that the patient sees the doctor in full screen, full-motion video and in real time just as the doctor sees the patient. The doctor can easily zoom in on the patient to view whatever he or she might want to see, or the patient's chart if the nurse is holding it up."

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