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Evaluation of 3D slicer as a medical virtual reality visualization platform
Author(s): Saleh Choueib; Csaba Pinter; Andras Lasso; Jean-Christophe Fillion-Robin; Jean-Batiste Vimort; Ken Martin; Gabor Fichtinger
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Paper Abstract

PURPOSE: There is a lack of open-source or free virtual reality (VR) software that can be utilized for research by medical professionals and researchers. We propose the design and implementation of such software. We also aim to assess the feasibility of using VR as a modality for navigating 3D visualizations of medical scenes. METHODS: To achieve our goal, we added VR capabilities to the open-source medical image analysis and visualization platform, 3D Slicer. We designed the VR extension by basing the software architecture on VTK’s vtkRenderingOpenVR software module. We extended this module by adding features such as full interactivity between 3D Slicer and the VR extension during VR use, variable volume rendering quality based on user headset motion etc. Furthermore, the VR extension was tested in a feasibility study in which participants were asked to complete specific tasks using bot the conventional mouse-monitor and VR method. For this experiment, we used 3D Slicer to create two virtual settings, each having an associated task. Participants were asked to maneuver the virtual settings using two approaches, the conventional method, using mouse and monitor, and VR using the head-mounted-display and controllers. The main outcome measure was total time to complete the task. RESULTS: We developed a VR extension to 3D Slicer—SlicerVirtualReality (SlicerVR). Additionally, from the experiment we conducted we found that when comparing mean completion times, participants, when using VR, were able to complete the first task 3 minutes and 28 seconds quicker than the mouse and monitor method (4 minutes and 24 seconds vs. 7 minutes and 52 seconds, respectively); and the second task 1 minute and 20 seconds quicker (2 minutes and 37 seconds, vs. 3 minutes and 57 seconds, respectively). CONCLUSION: We augmented the 3D Slicer platform with virtual reality capabilities. Experiments results show a considerable improvement in time required to navigate and complete tasks within complex virtual scenes compared to the traditional mouse and monitor method.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2019
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10951, Medical Imaging 2019: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 1095113 (8 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2513053
Show Author Affiliations
Saleh Choueib, Lab. for Percutaneous Surgery, Queen's Univ. (Canada)
Csaba Pinter, Lab. for Percutaneous Surgery, Queen's Univ. (Canada)
Andras Lasso, Lab. for Percutaneous Surgery, Queen's Univ. (Canada)
Jean-Christophe Fillion-Robin, Kitware, Inc. (United States)
Jean-Batiste Vimort, Kitware, Inc. (United States)
Ken Martin, Kitware, Inc. (United States)
Gabor Fichtinger, Lab. for Percutaneous Surgery, Queen's Univ. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10951:
Medical Imaging 2019: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
Baowei Fei; Cristian A. Linte, Editor(s)

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