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Canadian hospital tests Kinect in the operating room

Surgeons at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto are experimenting with Microsoft's Xbox Kinect to view images such as MRI or CT scans in the operating room. Using the motion-sensing controller, surgeons can browse through scans without having to physically touch any controls, rely on assistance from a nurse or leave the sterile environment. The Globe and Mail reports:

The console is a depth camera, meaning it sees in 3-D. It then creates a digital skeleton of the person captured on camera and tracks how the skeleton moves. Those motions are translated into commands.

The [hospital] engineers worked closely with surgeons at Sunnybrook to find command gestures that could be used in the operating room without compromising surgery procedures, Mr. Law said.

The system underwent extensive testing and has been used in surgery six times, [Dr. Calvin Law, who helped integrate the technology into the operating room] said. There are plans to roll it out in other parts of the hospital.

Physicians say using the system allows them to be more precise and decrease surgery delays.

Previously: A look at an iPad in the operating room

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