"Touchless" Gaming Technology Surgery Trial

Doctors in London are trialling "touchless" technology, often used in TV games, to help them carry out delicate keyhole surgery.

The system allows them to manipulate images with their voice and hand-gestures rather than using a keyboard and mouse.Surgeons say it gives them more control and avoids disruption.

Independent experts say this approach could become the norm over the next ten or 15 years.Surgeons are increasingly reliant on 3D images to carry out complex and delicate procedures.

Accessing the information they want is not straightforward. Using a conventional keyboard and mouse during the operation would risk contamination.Relying on colleagues to get the right image can be time-consuming and disruptive.

The refinements from gaming technology to complex surgery have been developed by Microsoft Research, with support from Lancaster University. Helena Mentis from Microsoft Research says the operating theatre presents particular challenges.

"In something like a surgical theatre we're interested in a very constrained area. You have surgeons and scrub nurses that are all very close to one another.You have a patient in front of you. You don't have the ability to reach up and reach out as far because you're sterile. You can't touch anything that's not already sterile."


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