Impulse talks & discussion MedtecLIVE 2024

eXtended reality for healthcare applications

3D data and XR technologies offer realistic training scenarios, support diagnostics, planning and operations, and improve training and therapy. They help to master complex challenges and optimize medical practice.

Background: Procedures and device technology in medicine are developing rapidly and the number of knowledge domains to be mastered is constantly growing. The availability of 3D data in medical applications is increasing, but image interpretation remains a key human function. Complex operations have to be planned in detail, taking into account both medical and economic aspects. Restricted vision and indirect working during minimally invasive procedures require very careful training. Scenario training must necessarily be highly realistic, cover rare pathologies, allow objective assessment of performance and be easily accessible. In all these challenges, eXtended Reality (XR) can make a meaningful contribution. 3D visualization and 3D interaction are already being used successfully in numerous medical fields of application. Many of the solutions available today have reached a level of maturity that allows them to be used directly in practice. Nevertheless, there are a number of unresolved challenges.

Current areas of application for XR in medicine and medical technology are very wide-ranging. These include XR-supported diagnostics by analyzing 3D data from volume-generating procedures such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Simulation data (e.g. from strength/stress calculations, flow, fluidics, kinematics, multi-body systems) can also be analyzed in XR. XR also supports intervention planning (e.g. procedures and routes, radiation) as well as intraoperatively: augmented reality-based navigation support in the sense of an extended surgical field of vision is already being tested in a prototypical manner. Telemedicine, like scenario training, relies on sophisticated graphic-haptic environments that not only provide visual feedback but can also reproduce forces. In this way, endoscopic and surgical activities can be practiced safely. At the same time, mastering the correct processes and procedures as well as the equipment technology plays an important role in training. Digital atlases of the human body provide detailed insights into anatomy, physiology and biomechanics on the screen. Haptic XR is used in rehabilitation to train motor skills. Psychiatric therapy successfully uses XR scenarios to overcome a wide range of phobias. 3D-supported workflow and layout planning systems are now being used for the first time in hospitals, for example. Illustration techniques based on computer graphics do not stop at medical technology either, with a number of successful implementations.

Please note: the sessions are held in German.