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Projectors Aid Virtual Reality Medical Research

Wed, 03/03/2010 - 6:26am

Human movement and rehabilitation after military combat, sports and other activities is explored using virtual visualization

March 3, 2010

In two North American installations, located at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, California and at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, each deploy the images from three edge-blended F12s to create a 180-degree panoramic image in front of and around the patient as part of Motek Medical’s proprietary CAREN (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment). Motek Medical system at McGill University Pain, Mind, and Movement Research Lab at the Constance Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre.

Dutch-based healthcare technology innovator Motek Medical has specified projectiondesign® F12 DLP® projectors for use in a number of ground-breaking research projects across the globe.  

In two North American installations, located at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, California and at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, each deploy the images from three edge-blended F12s to create a 180-degree panoramic image in front of and around the patient as part of Motek Medical’s proprietary CAREN (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment).

Outlining the design and operation of CAREN systems, Gerben van der Werf, VP Marketing and Sales, Motek Medical, says: “The latest scientific research into the nature of human movement and rehabilitation after e.g. military combat, sports and other activities requires careful study of how the patient reacts to the world around him. Using completely integrated components including a treadmill, a motion-capture system, a graphic environment based on flight-simulator technology and immersive projected imagery, CAREN creates a ‘virtual world’ in which the patient’s movements are integrated directly with the visualization onto the screen.

In both San Diego and Montreal, a cylindrical projection screen envelops the patient’s treadmill, effectively creating a moving panorama which alters in character with each step the patient takes. Every movement is monitored by medical staff and recorded for further study. Motek Medical installation at NHRC San Diego

“All the elements of CAREN are completely synchronized, and the system moves so quickly that the virtual world and the real world ‘become one’. The virtual world reacts to the movement of the patient, and the patient, in turn, reacts to changes in the virtual world.”

In both San Diego and Montreal, a cylindrical projection screen envelops the patient’s treadmill, effectively creating a moving panorama which alters in character with each step the patient takes.  Every movement is monitored by medical staff and recorded for further study.

In order for any research data derived from CAREN to be valid, the patient’s virtual world must combine a high degree of controllability with moving imagery that is utterly convincing.  It was these criteria that led Motek to specify projectiondesign, as van der Werf explains:

“The projectors need to fulfill a number of requirements. First of all you need high resolution to ensure an accurate image. Then you need a high refresh rate, because motion is a key part of CAREN and the image has to remain natural without any artifacts. You also need consistent color because, when you are combining the images from three projectors together to form a seamless environment, you can’t afford to have any deviation in color between them.  Finally, in many of these projects, space is limited, so you need the option of wide-angle lenses to minimize the distance between the projectors and the cylindrical screen.

“I’m delighted to say that the projectiondesign F12 projectors fulfilled all these criteria, and the end users in both installations are extremely happy with the results they are getting from their systems.”

Gerben van den Berg, Sales Manager Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg at projectiondesign, concludes: “We have always paid meticulous attention to the performance, consistency, and flexibility of our DLP projectors, and these medical research projects are a great vindication of our approach. Motek Medical is doing ground-breaking work in the field of virtual environments for military and civil healthcare, and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship with them.”

For more information, visit www.projectiondesign.com
 

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