This project was initiated at the University
of Michigan Medical School (General
Surgery Department**) with support from Stryker
Corporation, a medical equipment manufacturer. The purpose of
the Virtual Operating Room project was to develop software with
the ability to dynamically construct and visualize a 3D operating
room environment. This environment would then be portable to any
virtual reality system (including laptops) where users can manipulate
and re-position objects in real-time. Stryker offered the use of
their equipment models in the simulation with hopes of using the
software as a marketing tool in the future.
A software package was created that allows easy
construction of a room, using a CAD-style blueprint interface, and
visualizes the plans in full 3D. The object library currently contains
the full catalog of Stryker booms, as well as many other pieces
of medical equipment, furniture, and people. The software has been
used on several laptops, PCs, and stereoscopic 3D systems such as
(last image above). Future plans include testing in the fully immersive
virtual reality CAVE environment.
By focusing on the needs of our intended user group, we were able to
take fundamental principles from generic design programs and present them in a way that
met complex functional goals while remaining open and accessible to our novice users.
This user-centered design and object-oriented infrastructure also
makes the Virtual Operating Room software a great platform for additional
development. The object library can be easily adapted to another
company or industry.
**Clinical input and project support provided by Dr. Gauger and