From January 20th till 23rd, the city of San Francisco hosted the seventh edition of the annual "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality" event. The conference proceedings are currently available and offer a vivid impression of today's Virtual Reality technology implementation for medical applications in and outside the operating theatre, and for medical training and education. Freshly appeared as the 62nd volume in the series dedicated to Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, published by IOS Press in Amsterdam, the book contains seventy-three presentations, introduced by a selection of international participants to this year's MMVR 7 platform.
The 1999 edition of "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality" specifically focused on the need to pay enhanced attention to the quality of women's health. This concern is reflected in three contributions which range from breast tumour detection with semi-automated MRI analysis, over the building of a training simulator for breast biopsy, to surgery simulation for endoscopic gynaecology. In counterpart, the proceedings also include three articles on prostate biopsy by means of a telementored ultrasound method, a telerobotic system and a visualization procedure based on the analysis of 3D surface models. A fourth study illustrates the combination of Virtual Reality with psychotherapy to treat erectile dysfunction detected with brain Positron Emission Tomography (PET).
Quite a lot of research efforts are devoted to the realistic rendering of both haptic and force feedback in surgical simulation systems. Seven articles treat the subject extensively, whereas nine studies deal with this challenging problem in a separate paragraph. Adequate and detailed 3D visualization of the various structures in the human body constitutes another delicate issue for ongoing medical research. Some twenty papers highlight the search for revolutionary solutions to improve patient image processing for optimized treatment of brain and lung diseases, for the successful performance of knee and shoulder arthroscopy, maxillofacial surgery planning, minimally invasive surgery, and for radiological use of course.
Virtual Reality is equally used for the assessment of surgeons' performance, to measure skill acquisition, stress levels and hand motion in microsurgery. Another popular application field constitutes the rehabilitation environment as illustrated in three articles. They describe the use of tele-rehabilitation at the patient's home, a wholistic treatment approach, and the construction of CAREN, an integrated and computer assisted virtual exercise platform. The "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality" proceedings provide the reader with a comprehensive survey of experimental testing with Virtual Reality for various medical applications. A fair amount of these projects is expected to ultimately find its way to the daily clinical practice.
- Medicine Meets Virtual Reality - The Convergence of Physical & Informational Technologies: options for a New Era in Healthcare
- Edited by James D. Westwood, Helene M. Hoffman, Richard A. Robb and Don Stredney.
- Published by IOS/Ohmsha Press - Amsterdam/Berlin/Oxford/Tokyo/Washington, DC
- 1999 - 396 p.
- ISBN 90 5199 445 1
- Available from Marcella Janmaat at IOS Press - Van Diemenstraat 94 - 1013 CN Amsterdam - The Netherlands
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