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Gesture interface device developed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Date:6/16/2008

NEW YORK, June 16, 2008 Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel have developed a new hand gesture recognition system, tested at a Washington, D.C. hospital, that enables doctors to manipulate digital images during medical procedures by motioning instead of touching a screen, keyboard or mouse which compromises sterility and could spread infection, according to a just released article.

The June article," A Gesture-based Tool for Sterile Browsing of Radiology Images" in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (2008;15:321-323, DOI 10.1197/jamia.M24), reports on what the authors believe is the first time a hand gesture recognition system was successfully implemented in an actual "in vivo" neurosurgical brain biopsy. It was tested at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

According to lead researcher Juan P. Wachs, a recent Ph.D. recipient from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at BGU, "A sterile human-machine interface is of supreme importance because it is the means by which the surgeon controls medical information, avoiding patient contamination, the operating room (OR) and the other surgeons." This could replace touch screens now used in many hospital operating rooms which must be sealed to prevent accumulation or spreading of contaminants and requires smooth surfaces that must be thoroughly cleaned after each procedure but sometimes aren't. With infection rates at U.S. hospitals now at unacceptably high rates, our system offers a possible alternative."

Helman Stern, a principal investigator on the project and a professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, explains how Gestix functions in two stages: "[There is] an initial calibration stage where the machine recognizes the surgeons' hand gestures, and a second stage where surgeons must learn and implement eight navigation gestures, rapidly moving the hand away
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Contact: Andrew Lavin
andrewlavin@alavin.com
516-353-2505
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert  

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