Technology Can Turn Operating Rooms Into 3-Dimensional Teaching Rooms: Presented at ESC Digital Summit

By Eric Ramos

TALLINN, Estonia -- October 8, 2019 -- Using modern technology that incorporates augmented reality, operating rooms can be turned into 3-dimensional (3-D) digital teaching rooms that give medical students unlimited perspective with the push of a button, researchers reported here at the inaugural European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Digital Summit 2019.

“We have to think about the limitation in medical education when we think about the [current] process of recording in the operating room,” said Klaudia Proniewska, MD, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland. “Now-a-days we have 2-D movies and images and we have to look at 1 or 2 perspectives of our image. What would be wonderful is if we could see our operation room in 3-D.”

This is a limitation to what medical students or faculty members are viewing during a surgery or procedure. Usually, they are there with about 15 other people and depending on where they are sitting or standing, can only see part of the patient and surgeon. Even if the surgery is being recorded, the camera is only providing 1 or 2 perspectives in 2-D. What students want to see is more of what is inside the body of the patient and what the surgeon is actually doing.

“A remote view fully depends on the onsite camera operator,” said Dr. Proniewska. “We don’t really want to look at the surgeon, we want to have a view from above the body and see how the surgeon is navigating tools and what he’s actually doing.”

Using technology, the researchers are hoping to make operating rooms more digital and 3-dimensional, with the ultimate goal of completely changing the experience for medical students. The Jagiellonian University Medical College has purchased easy-to-use equipment to help them achieve this, including the Microsoft Hololens and Microsoft Azure Kinect cameras.

“Our solution is, I think, is very simple,” explained Damian Dolega-Dolegowski, Jagiellonian University Medical College. “We use 2 or 3 cameras, depending on the operating room and what will be recorded. The cameras will be synchronised and will allow us to record the operation from different perspectives.”

The medical student will then control what he or she is viewing. They decide what they want to look at during the operation. They can zoom in and out and go around or over the operating table.

“You can see the actual operation, not only just the patient and the surgeon,” said Dolega-Dolegowski. “You see what is really important. You are not restricted to stand and just watch from one perspective. You can move [the button] left, right, down, and up. You can even stand “on top” of the patient and just look down. You are not restricted in any way. This is really important.”

He explained that specialty cameras must be used for this purpose because regular cameras record in 2-D.

[Presentation title: 3D Operating Room With Unlimited Perspective Change and Remote Support]

To read more Conference Dispatch articles, click here.