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Medical augmented reality (AR) has been widely discussed within the medical imaging as well as computer aided surgery communities. Different systems for exemplary medical applications have been proposed. Some of them produced promising results. One major issue still hindering AR technology to be regularly used in medical applications is the interaction between physician and the superimposed 3-D virtual data. Classical interaction paradigms, for instance with keyboard and mouse, to interact with visualized medical 3-D imaging data are not adequate for an AR environment. This paper introduces the concept of a tangible/controllable virtual mirror for medical AR applications. This concept intuitively augments the direct view of the surgeon with all desired views on volumetric medical imaging data registered with the operation site without moving around the operating table or displacing the patient. We selected two medical procedures to demonstrate and evaluate the potentials of the Virtual Mirror for the surgical workflow. Results confirm the intuitiveness of this new paradigm and its perceptive advantages for AR-based computer aided interventions.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2009