Examination of MRI and CT scans and other medical images has long been performed on flat 2D displays. Recent advances in virtual reality and augmented reality technology have allowed clinicians to view imaging data in 3D but only when wearing specialized glasses or headsets.
In the current study, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explored the possibility of using relatively new light-field display technology to bring 3D viewing directly to the radiologist's workstation.
They invited physicians and students at their institution to view virtual 3D models segmented from clinical DICOM data using a light-field display (Looking Glass, Looking Glass Factory) in their typical work setting. The participants included individuals with a wide range of experience, from medical students to surgeons and radiology attendings.
Up to four individuals were able to view a 3D model on the same display, and users were able to manipulate the model using either a computer mouse or a hand-tracking device (Leap Motion controller, Leap Motion).
"3D viewers offer the opportunity to bring the 3D world of radiology into reality," presenter Dr. Yueh Lee, PhD, told AuntMinnie.com. "Light-field displays, such as the Looking Glass hologram, allow straightforward interpretation of complex 3D anatomy. More critically, these 'holographic' displays enable collaborative discussions between providers, patients, and caregivers without the need for heads-up displays or specialized glasses."
This paper received a Roadie 2019 award for the most popular abstract by page views in this Road to RSNA section.