3D offers new levels of detail and clarity not possible with conventional imaging. Rather than a flat image, 3D offers a method of recording and visualising medical procedures with added depth, form and shape.
Improving depth in medical imagery
3D technology brings two more depth cues to medical imagery, ‘vergence’ and ‘stereopsis’. These bring new levels of depth perception not possible with conventional 2D imagery. They combine and strengthen depth perception gained by ‘occlusion’ and ‘lighting & shading’ greatly improving analysis.
In normal 2D medical imagery and ‘perspective & size’ are weak because there is often very little depth, and very little perspective. If the camera and patient remain still, relative movement is also very weak. Vergence and stereopsis will also not work in normal 2D imagery.
Using 3D technology in live medical procedures
3D technology can benefit any live procedure where medical professional cannot see the subject directly. 3D technology provides remote viewing of the subject as if it were viewed by one’s own eyes. It allows objects to be differentiated from one another with greater clarity and ease than with conventional 2D camera systems.
Medical professionals can study and analyse with greater precision.
3D helps further analysis in recorded medical procedures
3D is also ideal in post-procedural review and education. Recordings can be played back as if you were there.
Professionals can review procedures with a better sense of connection with the original procedure. This allows for more knowledgeable analysis.
Medical students can see procedures in more realism, learning not just about the basic shape of objects, but their form, and relative position. Training and education become more effective.
3D video camera technology
Dual camera 3D technology
All 3D camera systems capture a scene with two cameras and two lenses. This emulates how human eyes work and allows the system to capture the two most important depth cues for good 3D vision, Vergence and Stereopsis.
Inter-ocular and inter-axial distances
The distance between human eyes is commonly referred to as the inter-ocular distance. It varies from one person to another but is on average about 65mm. 3D camera system consists of two camera lenses pointing in the same direction, separated by a small distance, just as human eyes are. This distance is commonly referred to as the inter-axial distance. Medical procedures operate in much tighter environments. A complete procedure site may only be a few centimetres across. Inter-axials distances therefore need to be smaller to convey a realistic sense of depth to the viewer. The inter-axial used in 3D imaging for medical applications would be more like 2mm, and maybe less.
3D microsurgery images can be obtained with small flexible endoscope tubes with two fibrescope bundles just a millimetre or two apart. Suitable 3D images can be obtained from larger site medical procedures with inter-axials of just 10mm.