Collaboration to Develop Multi-Sensor Management Software Architecture

Kitware, in collaboration with the Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory at the Politecnico di Milano, has developed a centralized, multi-sensor management software architecture for distributed computer-integrated surgery (CIS) systems.

The surgical landscape has changed dramatically over the past two decades, with technological advancements leading to CIS systems that promise to improve the outcome, safety, and standardization of surgical procedures.  A CIS system consists of one or more sensors that may be used to measure position or force information, or to acquire intra-operative images. Typically the sensor information is registered with pre-operative information to provide guidance to the surgeon or a robotic device during a procedure. CIS systems are used in many areas including neurosurgery, abdominal surgery and orthopedic surgery. Despite recent advances in sensor technology, there are still challenges in ensuring the various sensors work together, such as time synchronization and spatial consistency of data.

The research performed by Kitware and the Politecnico di Milano addresses sensor information consistency in both space and time. Sensor information consistency is critical when merging information from pre-operative and intra-operative imaging devices with location sensors placed on surgical guidance tools. This enables the surgeon to accurately target a specific area, for example, guiding a needle to a target tumor during a biopsy procedure.

To evaluate the research results, the team developed a centralized software application based on IGSTK for the management of multiple sensors. This centralized sensor management application was then tested within the distributed CIS system of the ROBOCAST project, which is used for robot-assisted minimally-invasive neurosurgery. The team concluded that IGSTK provides a flexible, hardware-independent framework to help manage spatial relations between information from different sensors, and that the proposed centralized sensor management approach is suitable for neurosurgery applications.

More details on this work are available in the International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery in the article titled “Modular multiple sensors information management for computer-integrated surgery.” This paper was authored by Alberto Vaccarella1, Andinet Enquobahrie2, Giancarlo Ferrigno1, and Elena De Momi1,3.

1 NearLab, Dipartimento di Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
2 Kitware Inc.
3 ITIA, National Research Council, Milano, Italy

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