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    • CommentAuthorMadeley
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (247.1)
    A mathematics professor in Los Angeles claims that within 5 years:

    Medical professionals will be able to scan patients prior to procedures and create three-dimensional virtual images of their bodies, which they can store in computers and use for practice before performing the real surgeries.


    So, will you own the copyright of the virtual image of your own body? Or how about a body-mod that encodes DRM into the virtual image during the scan so the surgeons can only copy you a handful of times?
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (247.2)
    interesting. i'm trying to find out who currently owns the rights to medical imagery.

    to a certain degree, present-day imaging like functional MRI scans require a load of tuning and work to get the proper pictures. it's much more like underwater photography, figuring out which filters and lighting work best in whatever situation rather than a point and shoot... different settings/vibrations/coil tweaking for different areas of the body. brain is different from lung imaging. measuring vascular flow is different than looking at bones setting in static xrays.

    so maybe the image rights should be more like a photographer's pay structure? the portrait may be of you, but the photographer framed it, owned the camera, printed it, set up the cool backdrop, etc... they did the work, it's just your genetics sitting in front of the machine. you license the images from them. but, there should be some sort of release form, where you stipulate where the photographer uses your image later on and whether you as the subject get a cut of that.
  1.  (247.3)
    so maybe the image rights should be more like a photographer's pay structure?


    In the UK NHS the pay would be like the rest of us.

    Crap.

    ::End snark::

    I'm not entirely sure how much use 3D images can be used for practice, as a large part of surgery is the 'feel' of the patient - something that I would imagine is hard to reproduce in haptics.

    This story is one of those stories that keep popping up - I can remember at least three other periods of stories about using VR to practice/train for surgery. Scanners (of various types and resolutions) have also been around for ages.

    The tech is there (as the article says, look at any computer game) to render things, but I'm not sure you'd need much more resolution on a scanner to get near-realistic organ duplication.

    Meh - probably a way to fill a few column inches.
    •  
      CommentAuthorGreg SBB!
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (247.4)
    Yet another idea where no-one thought to ask "Why bother?" first. I mean, here in the NHS you're lucky to have a surgeon to do the procedure *once* nevermind have a (probably pretty pointless and unrealistic) VR dry-run first.

    Sure it's possible and, barring computing power/availability, probably would have been for the past ten years. Far as I know, the virtual male/female for training medical students never really caught on (partly, I guess, because you'd be much more reassured if the medics had worked out their nauseas etc on a real live corpse before slicing and dicing your nearest and dearest).
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
     (247.5)
    more importantly, this could help surgeons in training not fuck up so much. and, cut down training costs with hard-to-find (at least in the US) cadavers set aside for medical research.
  2.  (247.6)
    more importantly, this could help surgeons in training not fuck up so much. and, cut down training costs with hard-to-find (at least in the US) cadavers set aside for medical research.


    Well surgical training is pretty rigid about patient safety (if only because people suing for dead relatives is costly) and I rather have someone who has done real surgery rather than someone trained 'virtually'.

    Which reminds me of the bit in Aliens when they ask their LT how many drops he's been on and he replies "32...simulated" and they all groan. Imagine your surgeon being that officer...

    Where I can see this being of more use is in telepresence - helping train surgeons where training perhaps isn't so rigid, or helping out with those tricky operations.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSara 013
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2007
     (247.7)
    (robb)
    more importantly, this could help surgeons in training not fuck up so much.
    Hm. No, I don't think so.
    It's called a medical practice for a reason....

    Medical 3D imaging has been around, as has been said.
    But a picture, no matter how pretty, will never be able to tell the physician how the actual living organism is going to react.
    This imaging may be able to help them locate the treatment site easier, or show them other problem areas that would otherwise may have required an exploratory, but I don't see it helping to prevent or (significantly) reduce the amount of problems associated with surgery, poorly trained surgeons, malpractice, etc.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSarpedon
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2007
     (247.8)
    yeah, as others have said there's no replacment for the real thing. I had some surgery done a couple years ago on my kidney and upon meeting the surgeon before having the work done he said he did something like 30 or 40 of the procedures in the previous year or so. Nothing else could have been as reassuring as knowing the guy holding the knife did the surgery more often than I do dishes. I also can't imagine how any amount of 3d imagery would be terribly benificial, seems like building a really good reusable model would be a better idea.
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2007
     (247.9)
    just think about when there will be machines capable of 3D scanning and 3D output (like those auto CAD cutter machines used for industrial parts) in materials as pliant and reactive as whichever tissue it's replicating. i think my mind was wondering too far ahead of feasability when i made the surgical training comment above.