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Camera-based C-Arm Tracker

 

The Camera-based C-arm tracker is a camera-based re-positioning system that aids the surgical technologist during surgeries. The idea is to reduce the effective surgery time and in doing so, reduce the radiation exposure to both the surgeon and patient. 

The setup involved the use of an infrared camera and markers to track the position of the C-Arm relative to the patient/operation table.

Healthcare Product Design 2015 | 6 months

Philips Healthcare Innovation Centre, Pune, IN

Supervisor: Shailesh Agrahari - R&D Site Leader and Head System Engineering, Diagnostics X-Rays - Philips

Skills: Human Centered Design, Technology Identification, OpenCV, C++, Qt(UI Design), Gamification

 

Background

A C-arm machine is a piece of medical imaging equipment that operates on the basic principle of X-ray technology.  This device is used to visualise patients’ anatomy in real-time in the operating room during surgery. Its special semi-circular design allows the physician to move it more freely, covering the patient’s whole body and taking images wherever needed.

During surgical procedures, the C-arm is often moved away from the operation table to clear the working space for the surgeon. Re-positioning the C-arm is a common hassle, among other problems due to communication issues between the surgeon and C-arm operator (surgical technologist).

 

The current method of re-positioning the C-arm is a trial and error method in figuring out the exact location that causes both the surgeon and patient to get exposed to more radiation than necessary.

Objective

To reduce the duration of surgery and effectively reduce the X-ray dosage received by the surgeon and the patient.

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Research

Field study involved interviewing surgeons, surgical technologists and an application specialist was carried out to understand the workflow and the environment the C-arm will be operated in. Further literature review and testing of proof of concepts involving various modalities of technology helped determine the technology and design specifications.

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Inspiration
 

For the UI design, inspiration was drawn from gaming interfaces such as Attack-Wave, Sniper Elite and Sky-Rogue. The focus was on designing a minimal and intuitive UI.

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UI Concept Ideation
 

Ideation was carried out with variations in the presentation style based on the application specialist's feedback.

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Implementation
 

Key features:

  • Sub-centimeter accuracy

  • Interactive guidance system


Reflection
 

Working independently on an industry project has been a very knowledgeable and challenging experience. It was my first work with a considerable amount of programming involved. The experience was rewarding due to the fact that the software package I had developed is soon to be implemented.

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