The medical 3D imaging data can be used for a variety of 3D technologies ranging from 3D Printing to lately, virtual reality and augmented reality. In this issue, we feature four publications investigating various applications and clinical outcomes of using medical VR/AR for medical simulation. The first article connects 3D printing, AR/VR to the management of kidney and prostate cancer. The second article focuses on diagnostic accuracies in congenital heart disease among conventional visualization, immersive, and non-immersive virtual reality. The winner of this small sample study was immersive virtual reality, especially when the case was complex. However, as we dive deeper into the VR/AR space, the human-computer interaction does not limit to simple visualization. The third article explores two existing haptic VR interfaces, a vibrotactile VR interface, and a kinesthetic VR interface, for medical diagnosis and planning on volumetric medical images. The final publication tackles the VR interface further by creating a prototype with suturing simulation in a VR laparoscopic surgery simulator with haptic force.
“From Academia” features recent, relevant, close to commercialization academic publications. Subjects include but not limited to healthcare 3D printing, 3D bioprinting, and related emerging technologies.
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3D Printing, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality for the Assessment and Management of Kidney and Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review
Authored by Nicole Wake, Jeffrey E. Nussbaum, Marie I. Elias, Christine V. Nikas, Marc A. Bjurlin. Urology. September 2020
Three-dimensional (3D) printing, augmented reality, and virtual reality technologies have an increasing presence in the management of prostate and kidney cancer. To assess the utility of 3D printing augmented reality, and virtual reality for (1) quantitative outcomes, (2) surgical planning, (3) intraoperative guidance, (4) training and simulation, and (5) patient education for patients with kidney and prostate cancer a systematic literature review was performed. Existing evidence demonstrates improvement in clinical outcomes, surgical planning, and intra-operative guidance, as well as training. Future studies are needed to assess the impact of 3D technologies on long-term patient-related outcomes.
A Novel Virtual Reality Medical Image Display System for Group Discussions of Congenital Heart Disease: Development and Usability Testing
Authored by Byeol Kim, Yue-Hin Loke, Paige Mass, Matthew R Irwin, Conrad Capeland, Laura Olivieri, Axel Krieger, JMIR Publications. 31 May 2020
The objective of the study was to evaluate and compare the diagnostic accuracies and preferences of various display systems, including the conventional 2D display and a novel group VR software, in group discussions of CHD.
A total of 22 medical trainees consisting of 1 first-year, 10 second-year, 4 third-year, and 1 fourth-year resident and 6 medical students, who volunteered for the study, were formed into groups of 4 to 5 participants. Each group discussed three diagnostic cases of CHD with varying structural complexity using conventional 2D display and group VR software.
A group VR software, Cardiac Review 3D, was developed by our team using the Unity engine. By using different display hardware, VR was classified into non-immersive and full-immersive settings. The discussion time, diagnostic accuracy score, and peer assessment were collected to capture the group and individual diagnostic performances. The diagnostic accuracies for each participant were scored by two experienced cardiologists following a predetermined answer rubric. At the end of the study, all participants were provided a survey to rank their preferences of the display systems for performing group medical discussions.
Diagnostic accuracies were highest when groups used the full-immersive VR compared with the conventional and non-immersive VR (χ22=9.0, P=.01) displays. Differences between the display systems were more prominent with increasing case complexity (χ22=14.1, P<.001) where full-immersive VR had accuracy scores that were 54.49% and 146.82% higher than conventional and non-immersive VR, respectively.
The diagnostic accuracies provided by the two cardiologists for each participant did not statistically differ from each other (t=–1.01, P=.31). The full-immersive VR was ranked as the most preferred display for performing group CHD discussions by 68% of the participants. The most preferred display system among medical trainees for visualizing medical images during group diagnostic discussions is full-immersive VR, with a trend toward improved diagnostic accuracy in complex anatomical abnormalities. Immersion is a crucial feature of displays of medical images for diagnostic accuracy in collaborative discussions.
Authored by Zhenxing Li, Maria Kiiveri, Jussi Rantala, Roope Raisamo. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. 25 March 2021
Three-dimensional (3D) visualization has been widely used in computer-aided medical diagnosis and planning. To interact with 3D models, current user interfaces in medical systems mainly rely on the traditional 2D interaction techniques by employing a mouse and a 2D display.
There is promising haptic virtual reality (VR) interfaces that can enable intuitive and realistic 3D interaction by using VR equipment and haptic devices. However, the practical usability of the haptic VR interfaces in this medical field remains unexplored. In this study, we propose two haptic VR interfaces, a vibrotactile VR interface, and a kinesthetic VR interface, for medical diagnosis and planning on volumetric medical images.
The vibrotactile VR interface used a head-mounted VR display as the visual output channel and a VR controller with vibrotactile feedback as the manipulation tool. Similarly, the kinesthetic VR interface used a head-mounted VR display as the visual output channel and a kinesthetic force-feedback device as the manipulation tool.
We evaluated these two VR interfaces in an experiment involving medical marking on 3D models, by comparing them with the present state-of-the-art 2D interface as the baseline. The results showed that the kinesthetic VR interface performed the best in terms of marking accuracy, whereas the vibrotactile VR interface performed the best in terms of task completion time. Overall, the participants preferred to use the kinesthetic VR interface for the medical task.
– Authored by Peng Yu Junjun Pan Hong Qin Aimin Hao Haipeng Wang. Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds. 1 September 2020
At present, virtual reality (VR) ‐based medical simulators provide an efficient and cost‐effective alternative without exposing risk to the traditional training approaches. As an essential and indispensable task in fundamental surgical skills training, the research of suturing simulation still remains insufficient in the field of virtual surgery.
In this paper, we present a real‐time suturing simulation framework that can handle the complex interactions between surgical instruments and soft tissue. The simulation consists of two stages: external interaction and internal coupling.
External interaction involves the interplay between needle/suture and the soft tissue, which are both deformed by position‐based dynamics (PBD) with different constraints. At the internal coupling stage, once the force exceeds a threshold, the needle tip will puncture and penetrate into the soft tissue and generate a path. To guarantee the needle/suture accurately following the path inside the soft tissue, we propose a novel coupling method by matching and generating the constraints among needle, suture, and penetration path.
We have applied this suturing simulation into a VR laparoscopic surgery simulator with haptic force. Our experimental results demonstrate that our approach can achieve real‐time performance with a high degree of visual realism and haptic fidelity.
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3DHEALS From Academia (Collective) – This section features recent, relevant, close to commercialization academic publications in the space of healthcare 3D printing, 3D bioprinting, and related emerging technologies.