Sunnybrook Hospital Adapts Kinect for In-Surgery Image Manipulation

The move to adapt the Kinect motion tracking system for the Xbox 360 for uses outside of the gaming world continue as one hospital in the Toronto area has managed to make the device a tool for surgeons, who are now able to use it in order to call up and manipulate complex images while they are in surgery.

Normally surgeons that need to take a closer look at an image would have to leave the sterile operating space, get to a computer and then wash up again before going back in, which often requires up to 20 minutes of precious time.

The Winnipeg Free Press newspaper now says that a team working at the Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto has adapted a Kinect sensor that can be used by surgeons to access, then rotate and even zoom in on images without needing to leave their operating space or requiring them to scrub in again.

Doctor Calvin Law, who is part of the Kinect-assisted operating team, has said that the new method is a time saver but that it also allows surgeons to focus more closely on the task at hand without any disruptions.

The newspaper says that six operations have been so far conducted with assistance from Kinect and the engineers that created the system are hoping to quickly adapt it for use in other hospitals.

A recent report from the University of Minnesota showed how researchers have used the Kinect motion tracking abilities in order to create a more objective evaluation process for those children who are suspected of being afflicted with childhood disorders.

Kinect launched in early November 2010 and Microsoft says that the device has so far sold more than 10 million units.

The company has promised that during spring a Software Development Kit for Kinect will be launched allowing PC developers to use it in more innovative ways.

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