New opportunities for 3D technology in medicine news
13 March 2013

Until now, physicians have largely been sceptical of the advantages of 3D technology. But this may be about to change as a new study shows that even experienced surgeons stand to benefit from the third dimension.

While physicians have largely ignored 3D technology until now, it appears to be getting a second chance, according to a new study of the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) and Klinikum rechts der Isar university hospital in Munich.

Thanks in particular to improved 3D-glasses and screens, practical tests have recently shown that 3D systems used in medical technology have benefits that were once believed to be purely theoretical. The researchers showed that even experienced physicians could benefit from the latest generation of 3D devices.

In the past, doctors have been rather sceptical of 3D images. In tests conducted over the course of the study, however, some 50 surgeons responded positively to 3D systems both with and without glasses. ''While the technology still requires some fine-tuning, technology that does without the need to wear special glasses will increase the popularity of 3D systems in operating rooms. In the past, surgeons were hesitant to use the technology precisely because of the glasses,'' says Dr Ulrich Leiner, head of the interactive media, human factors department at HHI.

The study was conducted as a result of current developments in 3D screen technology. 4K ultra high definition models for medical applications that offer quad HD resolution are already available.

''The next step is ultra-high definition with 8K. This will mark a 16-fold improvement on the resolution of currently available full-HD images,'' says Michael Witte of HHI in explaining current trends.

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New opportunities for 3D technology in medicine