Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New surgical simulator released-ROSS

Of course, to train doctors to perform surgery from a beach in Maui requires a sugical simulator.  Enter the ROSS from UofBuffalo.

They really went all out putting together a nice box, stereoscopic display, the works!

http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/26/robotic-surgical-simulator-lets-doctors-sharpen-their-skills-by/<br>

Robotic surgeon coming to a hospital near you!

Check out this video last year of the da Vinci Si robotic surgeon. It's still controlled by a human...but how long will that last :)

http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/07/video-da-vinci-si-robotic-system-wants-to-be-your-surgeon/<br>

Of course, this opens up all sorts of telemedicine possibilities. &nbsp;Top surgeons could just operate from their house in Maui!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Check out new iTunes video "Medical Imaging Simulation of Mice and Men"

The 3 year old VTG video, "Medical Imaging Simulation of Mice and Men", by Paul Segars is very cool. He uses Voxelman data to build his own 3D NURBS based model of every organ, bone, nerve in the body. Then MRI data is combined from other people to construct formulas for scaling the organs from 90th percentile to 10th percentile people as well as youth to elderly. Using a different set of MRI data, they simulate heart and lung movement, both independently and then as a complete body system. Finally to complete their "phantom" patient, they generate photo realistic MRI data sets for the given organ constructs, complete with disease conditions.

Friday, February 12, 2010

EVE - EndoVascular Evaluator demoed in the Triangle

More in the high fidelity sim space. Nagoya University is shopping for buyers for tech developed at their Japanese campus. They maintain a 2 person office here to facilitate such transfers.

http://localtechwire.com/business/local_tech_wire/opinion/blogpost/7005778/
Reuters article on Medical computer applications

OK, so not serious gaming related, but the attached article provides a brief view of how Pharma is embracing medical technology and applications to help diversify their businesses.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61A0Q320100211<br>
The folks in Brazil are making some nice progress in the VE space.

Last year they developed a CyberMed framework which provides some virtual medical simulation with a question engine (at least at first glance). It appears the project is stalled with no updates in 2 year and only 2 scenarios created.&nbsp;http://cybermed.sourceforge.net/

Their latest project, HiperRealismo, mirrors what we'd like to do with ILE@D. Build a virtual school with all of the content accessible from a single platform. More investigation is needed here as well:&nbsp;http://www.de.ufpb.br/~labteve/projects/hiper_realismo.html

Virtual Environments popping up everywhere

Yesterday I came across 2 more VEs. I believe both are built upon OpenSimulation engine (which makes for mediocre Second Life style graphics. They are selling access with a model similar to Second Life where you can buy a server or buy a license. The top end, with 100 concurrent users runs about $3k up front and $1-2k annually.

http://www.reactiongrid.com/Default.aspx

and

http://www.activeworld.com/overview.asp

Article about TATRC

Nice article about TATRC from my friend Rick. What's interesting:
  • they train/retrain 100,000 medical folk each year! 
  • $400M/year budget
  • Focus on objectively measuring whether students learn the skills they need
  • Want to move to a pilot simulator model of standardized training
  • They are also looking into robots and self guided helicopters
  • "We kind of take it to the point where it's ready for final development"

Monday, February 8, 2010

VPSIM to be presented at MedBiquitous conference

VPSIM is a pretty cool low tech simulation engine. They provide multi-branch clinical narrative and keep score. A bunch of scenarios are publicly available.

It also appears that they are offering CME for completing a scenario. I'll have to find out how they got that approved!

Pivote: An Open Platform for Virtual Patients in Virtual Worlds

I need to research PIVOTE. Below is the abstract for the talk at the 2nd International Conference on Virtual Patients & MedBiquitous Annual Conference.

Pivote: An Open Platform for Virtual Patients in Virtual Worlds
David Burden
Daden Limited, United Kingdom
Description

PIVOTE is an open source training authoring system based on the Medbiquitous Virtual Patient standard, but designed to support medical and non-medical training exercises in virtual worlds such as Second Life - as well as providing the ability to play exercises on the web and mobile phones. Developed originally with St George's Hospital as part of the PREVIEW project, PIVOTE was put into open source in 2009 and has now been downloaded over 100 times and use reports are coming in from as far afield as South America and Australia.

This presentation will provide a brief demonstration of the PIVOTE system, including the latest upgrades to support natural language dialogue interaction (aka chatbots) and other changes, and will summarise some of the projects currently using PIVOTE for medical and non-medical training.
A little off topic, but certainly a serious virtual environment.

Artisian Chocolate manufacturer creates a 3D sim of their shop floor so you can watch your chocolate being made. &nbsp;See 1:50 in the Cali's embeded video.

They plan to embed live video in the virtual space as well.

Earlier in the video they show an iPhone app you can use to control the parameters (heat, %fat) in a custom made batch of chocolate.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Eureka group in Europe create a virtual liver

Interesting in that they are creating a virtual organ to help train doctors as well as help plan surgeries.

http://www.3dtlc.net/2010/01/odysseus-project-develops-3d-imaging-of-liver-organs.html

SAIC buys Forterra...or just OLIVE?

This Blog post explains the demise of Forterra a little better than what I heard through the rumor mill. Looks like SAIC just bought OLIVE and brought along 12 people to keep it alive for the licensees. They are looking for the licensees to extend the product.

http://www.virtualworldsnews.com/2010/02/forterra-sells-olive-to-saic.html

Oracle pulls the plug on project Wonderland

Not unexpected, but still disappointing, there is no longer a corporate sponsor for the open source virtual environment Wonderland. The contributors claim to be committed on continuing the effort, but one would expect the effort to shrivel and die.

http://blogs.sun.com/wonderland/entry/good_news_and_bad_news

Now to go read about OpenSimulator.org

Use Medical texts to create Virtual Surgical Scenarios

Oh, these Forterra guys were clever. Too bad they all got the ax when SAIC bought the company. This paper discusses the use of natural language processing to convert medical surgical texts to virtual training scenarios.

I haven't found the full text on the web yet so you'll just have to peek under the covers at Google.

URODA et al. Semi-automatic Development of Optimized Surgical Simulator with Surgical …. … Meets Virtual Reality … (2007)

Partial text here: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=YpTUpPqIjKoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA250&dq=sstml&ots=aAlY8sTdS5&sig=5pq1drZzBWbOJ8lUi-Nog1-fzPM#v=onepage&q=sstml&f=false

Saturday, February 6, 2010

GRIMAGE 3D modeling for remote collaboration

A little unrelated to Medical Simulation, until you start thinking about telemedicine, these wacky guys in France have built an interesting experiment. They use a cluster of 10 dual core Xeon PCs to render a real-time, 3D, live video of a person in a virtual space. They still had to blue screen their studio (with 8 cameras). It only takes 29MB/sec of network bandwidth to transmit one person, so double that for 2.

http://grimage.inrialpes.fr/

Petit et al. Multicamera Real-Time 3D Modeling for Telepresence and Remote Collaboration. hal.archives-ouvertes.fr (2010)
http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/inria-00436467/

Energid 3D Haptic surgical/anesthesiology simulator

This isn't new, but worth reading if you aren't aware of Energid's projects.

It appears they've developed a haptic simulator that uses regular medical tools on a magnetic table. Cameras over the tool tracks its position in 3D space and mimics the tool's movement in a 3D computer simulation. The really cool part is sensory feedback provided by resistance of electromagnets.

http://www.energid.com/energid-projects-simulation-surgery.htm

They are using SSTML as a generic simulation markup language to drive a Anesthesiology and surgical training simulation.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

YouTube videos for Medical Games

While these aren't serious games, they offer some insights into UI design. The Amiga based games have an interesting interface for selecting and disposing of instruments. But most of these simulators appear to be procedural based scenarios.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAR_c89TjEc

Effectiveness of web based curriculum for MedEd

This is focused on Genetics education, but could be generalized to understand how consumers of medical education use the web.

http://med-ed-online.net/index.php/meo/article/view/4856

How to privatize University sponsored tech

A couple of interesting posts from Vivek Wadhwa regarding the potential for starting businesses based upon technology developed in the University system. It's an interesting primer on how to negotiate IP with the University Tech transfer dept.

http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/29/the-vc-the-professor-and-the-valley-of-death/

http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/30/shooting-for-the-moon-how-universities-can-turn-innovation-into-companies/


And on the lack of value of Venture Capitalists with regards to innovation:
http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/20/what-have-vcs-really-done-for-innovation/