Utah Patent of the Month – June 2021

Augmented Reality (AR) systems are increasingly common in medical procedures. A common limitation to this aspect is having the AR systems accurately align the virtual imagery with the real-world environment. Certain control options are also poorly aligned, or placed in a location that hinders their view. Traditional alignment methods are highly manual, requiring placement of non-anatomical fiducials. Novarad Corp. has developed a method for augmenting these real-time views of a patient with 3D data to improve it’s functionality in these situations.

They utilize medical imaging devices to create visual representations of the interior of a patient for use in training, research, diagnosis, and treatment. These images can then be used to create a 3D display for use in AR. For instance, if a surgeon is performing a surgery to remove a brain tumor, the AR system could project 3D imagery of the patient’s brain to better guide the surgeon’s decision making. They properly align these images to display over real-world environments by designating a marker on the skin of the patient that aligns with a specific morphometric measurement. This is linked to the imagery with the same measurement to provide an alignment point. The AR headset registers the marked location and aligns the imaging as such. This accomplishes automatic alignment between the 3D data of the patient and the actual patient, without the need for any manual alignment or placement of non-anatomic fiducials. With improved alignment, surgeons can now rely more on medical AR imagery.

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