Virtual reality in medicineBMJ 1999; 319 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7220.1305 (Published 13 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1305
- é Szàkely, head ([email protected])a,
- Richard M Satava, professor of surgeryb
- a Medical Image Analysis and Visualization Group, Computer Vision Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland
- b Yale School of Medicine, Section of Surgical Gastroenterology, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
- Correspondence to: G Sz'ekely
Computer modelling and simulation have become increasingly important in many scientific and technological disciplines owing to the wealth of computational power. Calculation of the behaviour of these computational models is increasingly replacing experiments on real world objects—for example, in the car industry (tests based on simulated crashes) or in the development of nuclear weapons—and is becoming an indispensable tool in the development of new products and procedures.
Likewise, the development of techniques for acquiring data (for example, medical imaging) has enabled the easy generation of high resolution copies of real world objects from the computer's memory. The development of imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and ultrasound, has made the acquisition of highly detailed anatomical and partially functional models of three dimensional human anatomy a routine component of daily clinical practice.
The principal aim of virtual reality technology is to present virtual objects or complete scenes to all human senses in a way identical to their natural counterpart
Simulated three dimensional reconstruction of organs from radiological cross sections is an important diagnostic tool by providing clinicians with a more naturalistic view of a patient's anatomy
Preoperative planning with the use of a computer including realistic prediction of the outcome has become an integral part of the intervention in certain disciplines, such as radiation therapy, craniofacial surgery, or neurosurgery
Computerised three dimensional atlases of human anatomy, physiology, and pathology are about to revolutionise the teaching of these subjects
Several virtual reality systems have been developed and tested for the physical or mental rehabilitation of patients and for supporting mental health therapy
Virtual reality technology plays an important role in telemedicine from remote diagnosis to complex teleinterventions
Technical data for virtual reality devices
Usual screen resolution: 1024×768 or 1280×1024 pixels
In stereoscopic mode the vertical resolution is halved: 1024×384 or 1280×512
For head mounted displays …
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