IMHOTEP – A Surgery Tool used in Virtual Reality
For months, developers in virtual reality have been trying to come up with engines, tools and applications that can play a part in improving our healthcare, education and business system. The main goal is to see how far we can take virtual reality in industries other than that of entertainment.
Now, at the end of 2014, a lot of developers are actively working to achieve this goal and start realizing the full potential of virtual reality in our fields. Some new tools and applications have started being released that are focused towards helping our education and business systems. Following this, a recent tool has been released by the name of ‘IMHOTEP’ that focuses on surgery and seems to be the pioneering technology for doctors and surgeons worldwide. This completely original system has been developed by Dr. Micha Pfeiffer.
IMHOTEP has been described by the developer as an ‘operation planning and teaching system’ that can be used by surgeons everywhere to prepare themselves for complex procedures and surgeries. The tool is basically to teach surgeons all over the delicate work that takes place in removing tumors from a human body. IMHOTEP works by taking MRI scans and segmented CT scans of the internal organs of a patient. Then, these scans are transformed into 3D images which can be viewed using Oculus Rift’s virtual reality headset. Doctors and surgeons can then analyze the image for possible errors and prepare an entry route that is the least damaging to the concerned patient. Since this is a highly risky surgery, the main purpose of IMHOTEP is to give the relevant surgeons as much information on the patient’s physical condition as possible – before the actual surgery takes place.
Many medical students and professionals have expressed a keen interest in learning how IMHOTEP operates, and what possible progress it can afford the entire medical world. The demo of this tool is available on the Oculus Share website – a software portal for virtual reality applications, tools and engines. IMHOTEP is compatible with both PC and Oculus Rift’s second development kit (DK2). This surgical tool is the result of a collaboration between Heidelberg University Hospital and KIT, Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics. IMHOTEP could well be the first ever application that launches a complete revolution in the medical world. Hopefully, it is only the start of other such engines and tools. Virtual Reality Times will keep following the progress of IMHOTEP and report back with all further updates.