Opect allows surgeons to interact with data in an operating room environment


Opect is an interface developed to enable surgeons to interact directly with images and data in an operating room environment. It has been developed at the Institute of Advanced Bioengineering and Sciences at the Tokyo Women's Medical University.

"You wave your hand toward the camera like this, to tell the system you're going to use it. Now, a white sphere has appeared where my hand is, and that works like a mouse icon. When my hand overlaps the arrow, I can turn the pages. These are photos taken of the patient during check-ups. This is vital information about how much of the tumor to remove, and now the surgeon can see it. You can also zoom in, by sticking your hand out. If you want to see an MRI picture, you can switch pictures by putting your hand up once. You can also scroll continuously, by placing your hand over the arrow."

"Previously, if surgeons wanted to see a patient's CT or MRI pictures in the operating theater, they had to wear sterilized gloves, so they couldn't use a mouse or keyboard themselves. So, they had to tell their assistants to turn pages. So, the environment was very stressful for the surgeon. But with this system, surgeons themselves can select the pictures they want to see. So, they can proceed with the surgery smoothly, without that kind of stress."

"Initially, we used a camera that recognized hand movements. But then Microsoft released Kinect, just at the right time. So, we decided to utilize that."

"We've also received all-round support from Microsoft, so we've been able to bring this to market quickly. Several hospitals in Japan are using this system, and in general, they've been satisfied with it."

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Tokyo Women's Medical University