Xbox Kinect will be Used to Perform Surgery


The German 3D Camera Researchers In Operating Room

3D Camera illustratrion
A new, first of its kind 3D camera based on the Kinect sensor (the same camera you can find on the Microsoft XBox One game console) has been unveiled recently at a medical conference to be used for medical applications such as endoscopy surgeries based on gesture control.
The new Time-of-Flight camera is being developed by the "3-D Imaging in Medicine" group – a German research and development cluster which focuses on novel applications of 3D imaging technologies for use in various medical fields.
In recent years minimally invasive operations have become increasingly common as they tend to require only local anesthetics and the healing time is shorter. However minimally invasive operations require high motor skills and extremely good hand-eye coordination from the surgeons performing the operation which occasionally face complex technical difficulties. One of the most important aspects of minimally invasive surgeries, arising from their advantage, is the complete dependence on the camera which becomes the surgeon eye during the entire operation.
The "3-D Imaging in Medicine" group are currently working towards a prototype of such a Time-of-Flight based endoscope that will help surgeons perform minimally invasive operations with much greater ease.
According to Dr. Kurt Höller, managing director of the ZiMT, surgeons face difficulties during minimally invasive surgeries: “There is some difficulty in horizontal orientation when using a flexible cannula (a flexible endoscope). We have developed a sensor which, when mounted on the far end of the endoscope, provides a horizontal balanced image. [Although this technology has not yet been used on humans], we have conducted important researches in animal inspecting this technology prior to putting it into future clinical application".
Interestingly, this is just one of the technologies developed by the "3-D Imaging in Medicine" group members for medical uses based on the Kinect sensor. The German company Metrilus, recently showcased a prototype of an instrument for breathing-independent radiation therapy ("respiratory gating") on the basis of time-of-flight 3D cameras. Currently these cameras have been mostly used for research, gaming (i.e. Kinect for Xbox) and automotive industry applications. Using the technique for medical technology is new, and offers excellent opportunities for the treatment of cancer patients.

Christian Schaller, the managing director of Metrilus, explains that the first-of-its-kind medical technology could be of particular benefit to lung cancer patients who receive radiation therapy. Better targeting of radiation – without worrying about the tumor moving during breathing – could increase survival from lung cancer. Currently, only 16 percent of patients with lung cancer survive five years and the new technology could help improve this statistics.