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Proceedings Paper

Feasibility of robot-assisted ultrasound imaging with force feedback for assessment of thyroid diseases
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Paper Abstract

Medical ultrasound is extensively used to define tissue textures and to characterize lesions, and it is the modality of choice for detection and follow-up assessment of thyroid diseases. Classical medical ultrasound procedures are performed manually by an occupational operator with a hand-held ultrasound probe. These procedures require high physical and cognitive burden and yield clinical results that are highly operator-dependent, therefore frequently diminishing trust in ultrasound imaging data accuracy in repetitive assessment. A robotic ultrasound procedure, on the other hand, is an emerging paradigm integrating a robotic arm with an ultrasound probe. It achieves an automated or semi-automated ultrasound scanning by controlling the scanning trajectory, region of interest, and the contact force. Therefore, the scanning becomes more informative and comparable in subsequent examinations over a long-time span. In this work, we present a technique for allowing operators to reproduce reliably comparable ultrasound images with the combination of predefined trajectory execution and real-time force feedback control. The platform utilized features a 7-axis robotic arm capable of 6-DoF force-torque sensing and a linear-array ultrasound probe. The measured forces and torques affecting the probe are used to adaptively modify the predefined trajectory during autonomously performed examinations and probe-phantom interaction force accuracy is evaluated. In parallel, by processing and combining ultrasound B-Mode images with probe spatial information, structural features can be extracted from the scanning volume through a 3D scan. The validation was performed on a tissue-mimicking phantom containing thyroid features, and we successfully demonstrated high image registration accuracy between multiple trials.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 March 2020
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 11315, Medical Imaging 2020: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 113151D (16 March 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2551118
Show Author Affiliations
Jakub T. Kaminski, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (United States)
Khashayar Rafatzand, Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School (United States)
Haichong K. Zhang, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11315:
Medical Imaging 2020: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
Baowei Fei; Cristian A. Linte, Editor(s)

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