Advances in telecommunication have opened the door to delivering surgical expertise remotely, as needed, for example, when there is no time or it is not safe to transport a patient to a medical center where the needed expertise is available. Conventional surgical telementoring relies on a videoconferencing system where the surgical field is captured with a camera, the video feed is uploaded to the remote mentor site, the mentor annotates it with a telestrator, and the annotations are sent back to the mentee surgeon site where they are displayed on a nearby monitor. This conventional approach has the shortcoming that the surgeon has to shift focus from the operating field to the nearby monitor, to memorize the annotations, and then to map them back onto the operating field from memory, which leads to delays or even unfavorable surgical outcomes. Augmented Reality (AR) technology can avoid these focus shifts by overlaying the mentor annotations directly onto the operating field. In this talk I will give an overview of the design and evaluation of our AR surgical telementoring system, and I will highlight the computer science research problems that had to be solved along the way.
Voicu Popescu is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University. He has a Computer Science Ph.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Computer Science B.Sc. degree from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. His research interests lie at the confluence of computer graphics, visualization, computer human interaction, and computer vision, with applications in defense, healthcare, and education.