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CAV lab -

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CAV lab

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The Complex Active Visualisation (CAV) lab at Griffiths University creates a virtual 3D environment
where surgeons can explore patients' organs. Paul Willis dons a sensor glove and 3D glasses to
experience how this technology will make surgical planning and teaching much easier.

NARRATION

These images reveal a deadly cancer - two thirds of this liver must be removed.

Dr Harald Puhalla

If you look for a cancer it grows like a ball...so we want to know the extension, on the up side,
down side, right, left... but also how deep, how far the extension goes.

NARRATION

To prepare for surgery, Dr Harald Puhalla must mentally combine hundreds of CT scan images to get a
three dimensional perspective of the diseased organ.

Dr Harald Puhalla

It's important to know the location of the tumour because we have to preserve enough liver tissue
in the body - otherwise you can't live.

NARRATION

I'm trying out a virtual reality system which may give doctors a more useful perspective.

Changming He

Just by pushing forward you can fly forward...

Dr Paul Willis

Oh now that was creepy!

NARRATION

Tracking devices on my cap and glove help create the illusion of a three dimensional space I can
interact with.

Changming He

The virtual scene will be updated by your real eye position- that's why we need a sensor on top of
the hat.

NARRATION

I can look around imaginary objects, ...and move them about with my hands.

Dr Paul Willis

I can put that teapot upside down and grab this one over here. I can put a teapot inside a teapot

Changming He

It's possible. In virtual world everything is possible..

NARRATION

And now, through some clever programming, Changming has made it possible to travel through a
patient's body.

Changming He

This one is an MRI scan

NARRATION

X-rays, CT scans, and MRI data - now 3D... and interactive.

Dr Paul Willis

So you can just literally walk through, at any angel and, see what's going on in the guy's head.
That's totally awesome it's the best 3D graphics I've ever had a chance to play with. But can this
really be used by surgeons to do better surgery?

NARRATION

Harald is eager to re-examine the conventional CT scans in Changming's new 3D system.

Dr Paul Willis

So what are you actually looking at here.

Dr Harald Puhalla

We see the dark spot, the cancer and the vessels right next to it. I see that I can rotate it
around very easily.

Dr Paul Willis

The depth in their in quite surprising isn't it?

NARRATION

As well as viewing the tumour from all angles, Harald can slice through the image at various
points.

Dr Harald Puhalla

Now I have a cross section through the major lesion - you can see the vessels are the bright
structures there...you also can see how far is the distance to other major structures...

NARRATION

An eraser tool can isolate areas of interest.

Dr Paul Willis

But you could theoretically with this tool remove the tumour, you could practice removing the
tumour.

Dr Harald Puhalla

I Probably could practice with this one but probably the razer blade would need some kind of
improvement. Well I have to say I'm very impressed with this technology - I didn't expect it to be
that good. I think it's an excellent tool for teaching students, also in brain or liver surgery as
well.

NARRATION

Encouraged by the feedback Changming is now working on a cheaper version of his virtual reality
system for instalment is clinics and hospitals.