Virtual Training System for Diagnostic Ultrasound Public
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Ultrasound has become a widely used form of medical imaging because it is low-cost, safe, and portable. However, it is heavily dependent on the skill of the operator to capture quality images and properly detect abnormalities. Training is a key component of ultrasound, but the limited availability of training courses and programs presents a signiﬁcant obstacle to the wider use of ultrasound systems. The goal of this work was to design and implement an interactive training system to help train and evaluate sonographers. This Virtual Training System for Diagnostic Ultrasound is an inexpensive, software-based training system in which the trainee scans a generic scan surface with a sham transducer containing position and orientation sensors. The observed ultrasound image is generated from a pre-stored 3D image volume and is controlled interactively by the userÃ‚â€™s movements of the sham transducer. The patient in the virtual environment represented by the 3D image data may depict normal anatomy, exhibit a speciﬁc trauma, or present a given physical condition. The training system provides a realistic scanning experience by providing an interactive real-time display with adjustable image parameters similar to those of an actual diagnostic ultrasound system. This system has been designed to limit the amount of hardware needed to allow for low-cost and portability for the user. The system is able to utilize a PC to run the software. To represent the patient to be scanned, a specific scan surface has been produced that allows for an optical sensor to track the position of the sham transducer. The orientation of the sham transducer is tracked by using an inexpensive inertial measurement unit that relies on the use of quaternions to be integrated into the system. The lack of a physical manikin is overcome by using a visual implementation of a virtual patient in the software along with a virtual transducer that reflects the movements of the user on the scan surface. Pre-processing is performed on the selected 3D image volume to provide coordinate transformation parameters that yield a least-mean square fit from the scan surface to the scanning region of the virtual patient. This thesis presents a prototype training system accomplishing the main goals of being low-cost, portable, and accurate. The ultrasound training system can provide cost-eﬀective and convenient training of physicians and sonographers. This system has the potential to become a powerful tool for training sonographers in recognizing a wide variety of medical conditions.
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