How 3D visualization software could be used to help treat injured soldiers

Wounded warrior

In an effort to improve the way that soldiers who suffer severe facial injuries are treated, a team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is looking to introduce 3D scanning and imaging to cranial and facial prosthetics that will help create implants that better restore a person’s original appearance, according to Popular Mechanics.

Physicians currently use a type of scan called cone beam computer tomography (CBCT) that captures 3D images of skulls and jaws. A scanner is used to circle a patient’s head and capture hundreds of images, which are processed into models and schematics of the patient. While these models are able to produce implants for wounded warriors, the process isn’t perfect, according to Capt. Gerald Grant, director of craniofacial imaging research for Naval Postgraduate Dental School, who is heading the effort at Walter Reed.

Grant explains in the article that posttraumatic scans enable physicians to see what someone looks like after they’ve been injured. If someone has an injury on the left side of their face, they are able to mirror the right side and overlay it and rebuild, but if someone has a mid-facial fracture, you can’t use that technique, he says. By taking facial scans of the troops prior to active duty, however, physicians would have full-face scans of their original appearance.

Grant and his team are currently evaluating software that could take the 3D visualization capabilities even further. The idea, according to the article, involves holographic images that would appear in front of the user’s face that physicians could use to examine and manipulate. One vendor currently under consideration is zSpace, which is an integrated hardware and software platform that transforms PCS into virtual holographic computing systems and platforms.

zSpace provided Popular Mechanics will a live demonstration of their system that showcased its capabilities. Read about the demo here.

Also check out:
Five interesting applications of 3D scanning
3D scanners used to create zombies in World War Z
Students develop 3D thermal mapping system for firefighting robots

Share your vision-related news by contacting James Carroll, Senior Web Editor, Vision Systems Design

To receive news like this in your inbox, click here.

 

Webcasts

Upcoming Webcasts

An update on USB3 Vision

This presentation,  sponsored by Point Grey, Matrox Imaging, and Ximea GmbH., will cover system design issues related to USB3 Vision, and will integrate real-world examples to facilitate under...

Choosing and testing smart cameras for your application

This webcast will guide viewers in the selection of smart camera hardware for applications such as inspection and verification, covering various functions and common features.

March 25, 2014

Food inspection from farm to table

The webcast will use actual examples--including long-term academic research and industrial applications--to illustrate and to elaborate the future perspective of R&D in this field. Interactive ...
March 11, 2014

Automotive parts inspection evolves with vision

This webcast, sponsored by Cognex Corporation, Matrox Imaging, Omron Electronics, and Point Grey will identify the technologies and setup requirements, including the system specifications nece...
February 18, 2014

Archives

Click here to view archived Vision Systems Design articles