Karl Heinz Hoehne (Medical Informatics; University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf & Voxel Man) will present the VOXEL-MAN project in the Salon at this year’s Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 17 conference.
1) Please tell us more about what you will present in the Salon at this year’s MMVR conference.
I am a professor emeritus and the work presented is a collection of earlier more illustrative than scientific work, that was not been published so far to a broader audience.
One of the two presentations is a movie – created at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Roentgens discovery in 1995 – that illustrates the history of medical imaging and image computing. It was generated completely with the tools of the VOXEL-MAN visualization system. Pictures on the walls of a virtual room lead to the different highlights: The discovery of the X-rays, CT and MR imaging, 3D models for surgery and training, virtual endoscopy and more. While today’s virtual body models, show a much higher spatial resolution and interactivity, the presented visualization techniques are still state of the art and might inspire the viewers.
The other exhibit is a poster showing compositions of some of the famous anatomical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and today`s computer models.
2) What was the main concept behind launching the Leonardo meets VOXEL-MAN project?
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was both an ingenious painter and engineer. We can imagine that he – when living today – would have creatively used methods of virtual reality. Besides his paintings and visions in mechanical engineering, his anatomical drawings became famous. I was always intrigued by these drawings and have created- just as a hobby – compositions with VOXEL-MAN body models.
3) How can VOXEL-MAN be used in everyday medicine?
The VOXEL-MAN project dates back to the early eighties and many of the algorithms (especially for realistic visualization) developed in this project are state of the art in many applications since long time. The VOXEL-MAN software is still used for the creation of 3D atlases of anatomy and radiology and for the development of surgical simulators
4) Are your body models used in medical education? If so, do you get feedback from students?
We have three interactive atlases of anatomy and radiology (“VOXEL-MAN 3D Navigators”) available for the brain and skull, the inner organs, the upper limb and for abdominal ultrasound. They are very well accepted by students and teachers.
5) What are your plans for the near future?
As the founder of the VOXEL-MAN group I work as a senior advisor and part time collaborator the surgery simulator projects of the VOXEL-MAN group. I am convinced that training and planning based on virtual reality techniques will soon be indispensable in surgery.
Further Salon interviews: