Introduction: Currently available image-guided neurosurgical systems (IGS) employ line of sight infra-red projectors, reflective trackers and high resolution monitors for display of multimodal data and images, requiring the surgeon to look away from the surgical field in order to confirm intra-operative progress. Such eye movement and lack of direct control over the display introduces a source of inefficiency and distraction for the surgeon, disrupting concentration and fluidity of delicate, technical movements. This study investigates wearable computing technologies to augment existing IGS by replacing remote visualization with a wearable, voice-controlled imaging device.
Methods: The original development is based on a commercially available near-to-eye monocular display(Google Glass) and a high performance video grabber (Epiphan). The output video data of a surgical navigation system(Medtronic Navigation S7) is wirelessly streamed to the monocular display worn by the surgeon, thus making him/her the system interface. The screen of the navigation system can be remotely captured and dynamically projected to the surgeon’s wearable device and is fully controlled using voice commands.
Results: The design proves to be simple, reliable and easily incorporated into the surgical environment. The distraction of using a conventional monitor, and the lack of any surgeon input has been eliminated by the wearable system.
Conclusions: By replacing the conventional method of navigation using a computer monitor, which withdraws focus from the surgical site, with a wearable device, the surgeon no longer needs to make unnecessary eye movement to view important visual information. The development has promising potential to be paired with any IGS to offer convince and safety for the surgeon and patients.
Patient Care: By eliminating unnecessary distraction for a surgeon and enabling his direct intangible control of the intraoperative image display, this development improves the efficiency of surgical operations, ensuring the quality of patient care.
Learning Objectives: To present the development and design of an innovative setup that not only ensures surgeon’s attention no longer diverted from the field, but also enables surgeons to have direct intangible control of the intraoperative image display.