imageThe information chasm that exists between clinicians and computer scientists is undeniable. Cutting-edge medicine doesn’t always know what cutting-edge computer science is doing and visa versa. Getting clinicians and computer scientists together to form interdisciplinary teams to bridge the gap is a formidable task, but the resulting synergy is making a significant difference in the practice of medicine.

Virtual reality (vr) environments, or immersive 3D technology, once the realm of computer scientists, are helping doctors find ways to best prepare for and perform delicate surgery and offer less invasive and life-saving procedures. Radiologists, surgeons and oncologists are holding on to their tracking hats as they prepare for a very revealing 3D ride.

How it works
Virtual reality (VR) or interactive 3D rendering involves a process in which the user wears a device on his or her head, tracking the head position to know where to look. Whatever display you’re looking at can update the view according to where your head is positioned. One way to do that is by wearing a head-mounted display wherein the user looks at two different TV sets mounted in front of the eyes. As you turn your head, the view changes in your eyes, so it looks as though you are looking around your world.

Please refer to the April 2001 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis