A New Perspective on Minimally Invasive Procedures: Exploring the Utility of a Novel Virtual Reality Endovascular Navigation System
James, Ryan Christopher
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Digital information is playing a larger role in the treatment of disease. Invasive procedures, such as open-heart surgery, have evolved into minimally invasive procedures that benefit from reduced trauma, scarring and recovery times. However, unlike their ancestors, minimally invasive procedures do not provide direct line of sight, and, as a result, require alternative means to depict the operative field. Modern medical images are digital representations of the operative field that are used to guide minimally invasive procedures, including endovascular procedures that occur in the blood stream. Because blood impedes light, light-based cameras, such as endoscopes, are extremely limited in their utility, requiring endovascular proceduralists to rely on non-light-based imaging. However, non-light-based imaging can be difficult to understand due to the lack of visual depth cues in their display. In this dissertation, I explored a novel method of displaying endovascular imaging through the design, development and evaluation of a head mounted display catheter guidance system. Using my system, proceduralists performing a visually complex and potentially dangerous endovascular maneuver known as the transseptal puncture performed with greater accuracy and, subjectively, a better understanding of the operative field. It is my hope that the knowledge and artifacts generated during my work influence the implementation of improved medical practices.