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Starting out as the 3D Innovation Center in 2012 the scope was officially extended in September 2014. Now the whole field of immersive imaging technologies, including 3D technology, UHD, HDR, HFR and VR is covered.
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For over ten years now the German Society for Biomedical Engineering (DGBMT), the Fraunhofer Society (FhG) and the Society for Medical Innovation and Technology (SMIT) have been helping to organize the workshop “Hospital of the Future”. It is part of the annual conference of the German Society of Endoscopy and Imaging Technologies (DGE-BV). This year’s theme was “Emergence into new Dimensions”. It took place in Munich on 26-28 March 2015.
Ever since computed tomography was invented forty years ago the processing and depiction of three dimensional image data in the medical sector has changed enormously. The rapid development offers new and unforeseen possibilities for diagnostic analysis, the surgical planning process and intervention. Over the last decades not only the recording modalities (3D endoscopy, 3D ultrasonic, OCT, 3D microscopy, Time-of-flight cameras, Kinect, etc.) have changed, but also did their processing with the progress of efficient computers and complex algorithms. This leads us to new inventions concerning the output and the interaction with 3D image data. These range from 3D displays, data manipulation via gestures to the opportunity to produce tissue and organs with a 3D printer.
The workshop “Hospital of the Future – New dimensions in diagnostics and intervention – Quo Vadis 3D?” concentrated on the current situation and future development of the capture, processing and depiction of 3D. It was organized and moderated by Professor Andreas Melzer from ICCAS Leipzig and PHD Thomas Wittenberg from our partner Fraunhofer IIS Erlangen supported by DGBMT, DGE-BV, Fraunhofer Society, SMIT and the 3IT.
The opening keynote lecture was given by Professor Erwin Keeve from the Charité and was about ”Future 3D Imaging Technologies and Robot-Assisted Surgery”. Arne Nowak from Fraunhofer IIS presented a new approach to the acquisition of 3D-surface-data based on one camera to capture polarization information. This data allows specialists to generate and approximate 3D scenes with very shiny and reflective surfaces, which is an interesting attempt to create bathymetric charts during laparoscopic surgeries.
Christoph Grossmann who is the manager of our partner SeeFront in Hamburg introduced new capabilities to use stereoscopic images without special glasses or helmets. They can be viewed on autostereoscopic panels. Such spatially extended image data can be generated with 3D laparoscopes or with stereo-surgery microscopes. Eye-tracking is used to determine the position of the observer, which gives him the advantage to be able to move around freely in front of the display as well as a very natural depiction of depth.
Dr. Ralf Schäfer from the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute gave a speech on “Immersive Media: 3D Visualization- and Interaction Possibilities”. It provided a good overview of 3D imaging technologies in the consumer market. He presented opportunities in that field as well as technical challenges that come with the attempt to transfer these technologies to the field of medical care e.g. laparoscopy and surgical microscopy.
Other Speakers were Matthias Kühn from the company Schölly, Doctor György Wersényi from the University in Győr, Hungary, Professor Marc Stamminger from the University of Erlangen and Andreas Melzer. Their talks were about the development of 3D images used for endoscopy and the production of individual epitheses with 3D printers.
In addition to the Workshop there were “life-demonstrations” at the DGE-BV “S3D-Expo”Industry Exhibition organized by DNS-Consult. The exhibits included autostereoscopic 3D screens from the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and the company SeeFront that visitors were able to inspect and experience.
The response of the fifty participants was very positive so that there are already plans to organize a similar workshop next year.