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3-D Software for 'Virtual Surgery' 59

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the phone-it-in dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Computer scientists at Brigham Young University (BYU) have developed a new software tool to perform 'virtual surgery'. This tool, dubbed 'Live Surface,' will allow surgeons to visualize in 3-D any part of a patient's anatomy with just a few clicks of a mouse. Similar software already exists, but according to the Deseret Morning News, Live Surface is interactive and fast. This software can be used for better diagnosis by physicians, but it might even suppress the need for some exploratory surgeries. The researchers add that Live Surface might even been used for special-effects in movies or games by extracting an actor's performance from a video clip."
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3-D Software for 'Virtual Surgery'

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  • A pioneer (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lindsay Lohan (847467) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:12PM (#15826947) Homepage Journal
    I've been visualizing human anatomy in 3-D for many years.
  • Yeah, its us. (Score:4, Informative)

    by engagebot (941678) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:16PM (#15826968)
    Yeah, this already does exist. Because we make it. www.meti.com

    We have a laproscopic surgery simulator for a mere $40k that will totally blow your mind. You can learn to stitch, tie knots, remove gall bladders, the works.
    • This is a Ronald article. Of course he is going to hype up whatever he is talking about.
    • I have played with your hardware/software. Your rep stopped by our lab for a demo. I must say I was impressed but a lot of work still needs to be done especially with using models other than mass-spring so the organs don't feel like water filled balloons and response among others. The work suggested here is definitely needed though I don't know how complete/advanced it is.
  • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:17PM (#15826978) Journal
    Ok, so today we've had stories on how to do 3D Virtual Reconstructions of places or environments [slashdot.org] and now 3D visualization of people's internals. All we're missing is an article on holograms.

    I want my freakin' holodeck!
  • by w33t (978574) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:18PM (#15826990) Homepage
    I can see Doctors of the future using the magenetic-lasso to extract tumors more easily.

    We can only imagine, however, what the clone tool will be used for.
  • The software, Live Surface

    Somebody research it for me. It's academic, so it has potential???
  • Can this be integrated into Doom 3 for more realistic body parts flying everywhere?
  • If only... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Trouvist (958280)
    If only they truly had the technology they claim, they would have quickly been bought up by the GE's or Microsoft's of today. Does anyone here have any idea of the worth of an alogrithm that would automatically segment the entire human body for virtual exploratory surgery within reasonable timeframes?
    • Does anyone here have any idea of the worth of an alogrithm that would automatically segment the entire human body for virtual exploratory surgery within reasonable timeframes?

      Ha ha, conspiracy theory. Great stuff.

      They have the technology. I saw a demo of it in class and had the segmentation algorithm explained to me. Yes, I'm a graduate student at BYU.

      Nice try baiting the moderators, though.
  • The researchers add that Live Surface might even been used for special-effects in movies or games by extracting an actor's performance from a video clip.

    sure sounds like progress [imdb.com] to me...
  • by The Great Pretender (975978) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:23PM (#15827021)
    Here we go: You scan an MRI, feed it in to the computer. Some Dr. on his sail-boat looks at the MRI identifies the area to be removed, and does a virtual surgery. The virtual surgery goes into the computer. The patient gets prepped, goes into surgery, a robot surgen following the 'virtual surgery' removes the offending piece.

    It all sounds so nice and efficient, but I can see so many things were this could go horribly wrong. I for one will be sticking with the over-worked, stim-taking resident who will be standing by my body. I don't feel comfortable with the medical industry moving in the same direction as the car manufacturing industry.

    • Today in 2015, a mix-up at the DC General Hospital caused a Presidential hopeful to get a Sex-change operation instead of a triple-bypass heart surgery. The makers of Robo-surgeon disavow any responsibility since it is the Hospital's underpaid orderlies that roll in the patients in to the wrong room. The now Congress-woman was unavailable for comment. Doctors give the patient a few days to live due to the excitement of not getting enough of herself.
    • I'm confused if your trying to be humorous or not. I'm not good with humor....
      In any case I don't see how it can make things much worse. It's not like people have gone in to have the left leg amputaed and woke up with the right one gone. See one story here [telemed.org]
    • It all sounds so nice and efficient, but I can see so many things were this could go horribly wrong. I for one will be sticking with the over-worked, stim-taking resident who will be standing by my body. I don't feel comfortable with the medical industry moving in the same direction as the car manufacturing industry.
      That's one way to look at it. But on the other hand, I doubt that the car manufacturing industry makes mistakes half as often as the medical industry does.
    • You scan an MRI, feed it in to the computer. Some Dr. on his sail-boat looks at the MRI identifies the area to be removed, and does a virtual surgery.

      When my wife had a brain biopsy for her GBM, they did indeed get an MRI image and feed it into a computer in the operating room. The computer generated a 3-D image using the scan and aligned it to her head. The image was accurate to 0.06mm (I believe) and could even generate views "looking through the needle" so the Dr. (actually in the room) could avoid b

  • by Pvt_Waldo (459439) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:26PM (#15827043)
    There is a press release right here [byu.edu] from BYU that has links to various videos and other media. Can't seem to find any papers or articles about the process, though I noticed it's being patented so there may not be a lot available (?)
    • by grammar fascist (239789) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @04:05PM (#15827289) Homepage
      Can't seem to find any papers or articles about the process, though I noticed it's being patented so there may not be a lot available (?)

      Having taken a vision class from Dr. Barrett (CS 750 at BYU), I can fill in some details. I might be able to dig up the paper later. I think you can find it in the latest SIGGRAPH proceedings - dunno if Citeseer has indexed it yet.

      It's a segmentation algorithm that works well and fast in 3D images. It uses a graph-cut algorithm to classify voxels as inside or outside whatever you're trying to isolate. You (the doctor) lay down "seed" voxels with a mouse, clicky-clicky, and a few seconds later, the algorithm has isolated the structure. For example, say you want to isolate bone. Hold down the mouse button and move it over the bone. Hold down the other and move it over non-bone. If the algorithm makes a mistake, make some more seed voxels.

      This is nothing new so far - the CV folks have been segmenting with graph-cut for ages. The problem is that it's very, very slow - minutes for a single segmentation. Barrett and Armstrong have developed a hierarchical version of the algorithm that uses watershed regions to presegment, and merges them as it runs. Doing graph-cut on large regions is a lot faster than doing it on single voxels. Their stuff is the first interactive speed, seeded 3D segmentation algorithm that produces quality results.

      I saw the demo in class. It was really rather impressive, if you're familiar with the subject area.
      • 3D is becoming very much of both diagnostics and surgery, but lest we forget this technology is ONLY as good as the doctors that use it. That, and voxel data seems like a rather incomplete dataset compared to DICOM out from say a CT modality. When we code diagnostic systems, we make a point to include the new in-progress review specs for CT and MR that are going to be the foundation of future surgical platforms to come (DICOM btw, is the medical image standard that was developed to allow for things like 3
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:36PM (#15827109) Homepage Journal
    Hey, it looks like you're perfoming a coronary artery bypass operation!

    Would you like to:
    • Obtain a suitable transplant from the greater saphenous vein?
    • Overcharge the patient's laughable insurance?
    • Get in a quick few strokes on the back nine before the operation?
    • Play golf instead?
  • too easy (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This tool, dubbed 'Live Surface,' will allow surgeons to visualize in 3-D any part of a patient's anatomy with just a few clicks of a mouse.

    Sometimes the gags just write themselves
  • BSOD (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheAngryMob (49125) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:46PM (#15827160) Homepage
    A system crash would give new meaning to "Blue Screen of Death."
  • by Zarian (797222)
    I've been doing this for a while now. http://www.atlus.com/trauma_center/ [atlus.com] ;)
  • Muhahahahaha!
  • by noneme (917222) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:54PM (#15827226)
    Virtural surgery is not a new concept...I remember being in Junior High School and having the option in science class to disect a frog or to use a program on a 386 to move around .bmp's of a frog's anatomy.

    The 3D model is an interesting way to put the MRI / CAT data on a computer screen (and far better than the .bmp's of a frog's organs) but what advantage (besides eye-candy) does this offer over looking at the raw MRI or CAT results?

    One thing that could make this a great learning tool is an interesting interface that would help one practice a surgery with something more than a mouse or touch screen. Nintendo and Altus have already created a toy that does this, a far more intricate and realisitic version could be of use: http://ds.ign.com/objects/695/695152.html [ign.com]

    • The 3D model is an interesting way to put the MRI / CAT data on a computer screen (and far better than the .bmp's of a frog's organs) but what advantage (besides eye-candy) does this offer over looking at the raw MRI or CAT results?

      The answer is pretty simple. Doctors have to deal with information overload, and 3D models are an effective way of managing huge amounts of data. Consider: A typical MRI exam contains 60 to 90 slices. Looking at a single 3D image is much more efficient than looking throug
  • my own 3D anatomy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by deathcow (455995) * on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @04:40PM (#15827507)
    I went through the stages to donate part of my liver to my infant daughter in 2005. Washington University medical took a full torso cat scan of me, and then gave me a copy of the CD on the way out the door! (I did have to ask for it.)

    So I take the CD, and find it has 3D visualization software on it. I ran it and told it to load all the cat scan slices. After it thought about things for a minute, Pow! Full 3D rotatable torso, I could dive in/out up/down whatever. I could change various colors and such to help see embedded structures like biliary tracts of the liver, or the tracts inside the kidneys.

    Having been so close to a high end medical operation like a liver transplant for several months, I saw some wicked imaging tools. The ultrasounds they use to monitor my daughters new liver actually colors all the blood flow in blue and red (i.e. venous and arterial, though it is arbitrarily selected I understand) and you can move a trackball around to measure the instantaneous velocity of bloodflow in various veins or arteries in cm/sec with the click of a button.

    You can bet that in 20-30 years this stuff is going to be VERY high end and we're going to stand a lot better chance at surviving some bad stuff. "Watch now! The nanobots are just reaching the clogged vessel as we speak, and you can see the bloodflow is already up by 1%, yes look here they have begun to expel the media into the colon!"
    • 1) are thise images online?

      2) How is your daughter?

      • 1) are these images online?

        Probably not on the Internet for general access, one might hope. I don't doubt that they are online for Washington University doctors to access. I had ~just~ gotten a chest X ray as well and found a copy of it on the CD as well, so I think they are pure digital with instant access in that regard.

        Blood lab monitoring was another nice aspect of being at Childrens Hospital. When you are having a liver transplant, your blood is checked over and over for liver function levels, blood cl
    • Re:my own 3D anatomy (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chitlenz (184283)
      Isn't it cool?

      I design the 3D diagnotic interfaces to these systems and I love my job =)

      We just got a GE 3T Mri magnet put in at our flagship clinic in Greensboro, and it indeed has a magnet resolution of apparently 90nm (we were trippin on this when they fired it up for the first time...

      The color ultrasounds are kind of a pain in the ass to deal with btw, and can get out of manageable control rather quickly. We had an cardio tech generate a dataset on a cardio ultrasound station spanning a 30GB resultset
  • Well, before the Mormon/BYU jokes start coming out or someone makes a strange accusation about Mormons and the medical sciences regarding this article, it should be pointed out that Russel M. Nelson [wikipedia.org], a member of the second highest governing body in the Mormon church, is a noteworthy heart surgeon, who has served as chairman of the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery for the American Heart Association and received a Citation for International Service from that same organization.
  • by mustafap (452510) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @04:54PM (#15827611)

    A company I used to work for, haptica, developed this for key-hole surgery about 7 years ago

    www.haptica.com

    What was nice was that they used the Havoc physics engine - the Havoc boys were just round the corner from us in Dublin.
    Those havoc boys, they knew how to party!
  • Is this the same BYU where Prof Steven Jones has written a white paper about 911?

    http://www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.ht ml [byu.edu]

    "ABSTRACT
    In this paper, I call for a serious investigation of the hypothesis that WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were brought down, not just by impact damage and fires, but through the use of pre-positioned cutter-charges. I consider the official FEMA, NIST, and 9-11 Commission reports that fires plus impact damage alone caused complete collapses of all three buildings. And I pr
  • I saw this software demoed at SIGGRAPH this week. I was impressive by the extremely simple user interface.
    It only has three basic commands, unlikes the dozens to hundreds I see on comparable medical-CAD software.
    The commands are rotate view, add a chuck here, delete a chuck here. There sophisticated segmentation technques
    mostly guess your intention right, i.e. do you want to display this bone or muscle, but you have to do some final adjustments.
  • Will the patients nose light up red when the proceedure goes wrong?
  • From the article:
    BYU has applied for a patent on Live Surface, and Adobe will have nonexclusive licensing rights to the product, Barrett said.

    This software is supposed to do great things, but now if you want to do these great things you have to either use a patent or buy proprietary software from Adobe. I wonder if the graduate student who helped write this program had government sponsorship of any kind.

    This kind of innovation silo is immoral. In my opinion far more immoral than proprietary software

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