MMVR 15 proceedings explore potential of medical design to enhance surgeon performance and patient comfort

Amsterdam 23 February 2007The conference proceedings of the fifteenth edition of the annual "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality" (MMVR) event, held February 6-9, 2007 in Long Beach, California, have been published as the 125th volume in the series dedicated to Studies in Health Technology and Informatics by IOS Press in Amsterdam. This MMVR 2007 edition includes 120 creative approaches to the conference theme "in vivo, in vitro, in silico: Designing the Next in Medicine". In a short preface, the editors explain the capital role design is playing in the art of medicine at three distinct levels: the biological, the informational and the physical-material environment. Medical design is not merely a matter of esthetics; on the contrary, it has the power to solve real world problems.


Secure touch and ample sight are two essential conditions for successfully conducted surgical procedures. Hence, a lot of attention in medical virtual reality research is paid to integrating realistic haptics and enhanced imaging tools in surgical training simulators for various medical specialities such as colonoscopy, endoscopy, endovascular neurosurgery, eye surgery, hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, mastoidectomy. Trainees and students are in need of a virtual environment that mimics the real world operating field as authentically as possible to assess and enhance their skills. Thirty-one papers deal with the challenges of simulation performance.

Besides the training environment, virtual and augmented reality already pay excellent services for superior image guidance in the field of pre-operative planning. Nine contributions address topics that describe augmented reality, navigation and validation aids for radiotherapy planning, hepatic surgery, needle insertion, and stent implantation. State-of-the-art visualization tools for very specific procedures are addressed in eight papers describing applications for fluoroscopy, virtual reality assisted ultrasound for image guidance, endoscopic sinus surgery, cerebral aneurysm, x-ray for neurosurgery, and 3D models for treating benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

Twenty-seven papers are dedicated to the building of virtual scenarios and the use of avatars and standardized patients to simulate emergency situations and battlefield environments, to train medical teams, to enhance cognitive and procedural skills and to help students gain insight in human anatomy. Two studies describe the use of cellular and UMTS phones to cope with exam and battlefield stress by offering virtual worlds in a mobile setting. Other tele-connective and remote interaction tools are applied for collaborative use in teamwork at a distance by means of telemedicine, telesurgery and distributed computing. Seven papers address this type of technology.

For those interested in the world of mathematical algorithms, the MMVR proceedings provide twelve studies dealing with soft tissue modelling, segmentation for virtual open heart models, finite element models for cutting, hidden Markov modelling and marching cubes for visualizing translucent isosurfaces. More technically inspired are also the nine contributions dedicated to the dynamics of nasal airflow, real-time tracking of non rigid objects, nano-robotic sensors for nerve cells and temporal bone drilling.

Robots for endovascular surgery and rehabilitation solutions for post-stroke patients are treated in eight papers and typical design topics such as specific interfaces for haptic effects, medical implants, surgical scissors and haptics for minimally invasive procedures, device connectivity for image guidance, and human factors engineering are addressed in seven contributions. The MMVR 2007 proceedings include 51 papers from the United States, as well as 31 European contributions, 12 studies conducted in Asia, 8 in Canada, 2 in Australia, and 1 in Mexico. Fifteen papers have been delivered by transinternational and even transcontinental teams of authors.

  • Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 15 - in vivo, in vitro, in silico: Designing the Next in Medicine
  • Edited by James D. Westwood, Randy S. Haluck, Helene M. Hoffman, Greg T. Mogel, Roger Phillips, Richard A. Robb, and Kirby G. Vosburgh
  • Published by IOS Press - Amsterdam/Berlin/Oxford/Tokyo/Washington, DC
  • 2007 - 528 p.
  • ISBN 978-1-58603-713-0
  • Available from Paul Gijsbers at IOS Press - Nieuwe Hemweg 6B - 1013 BG Amsterdam - The Netherlands
    Phone: +31-20-688-3355 - Fax: +31-20-687-0019 - E-mail:

Leslie Versweyveld

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