A bronchoscopy is often used to give the most reliable diagnosis of respiratory disorders. The technique involves inserting an endoscope down the patient's throat to look into the airways. At the same time, an ultrasound scan is performed - producing two simultaneous video streams on separate monitors. As these monitors are usually placed rather awkwardly alongside the operating table, medical practitioners have to constantly look back and forth between the screens and the patient. The FTTZ at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences decided to tackle this problem and is now at CEBIT 2018 to demonstrate a solution designed to enhance bronchoscopies with the help of augmented reality (AR).
To place all processes within the practitioner's direct field of vision, the solution transmits both video streams via WLAN onto a Microsoft HoloLens as a freely positionable hologram. Thanks to the specially developed "Airtap" user interface, medical professionals can also control the video streams by hand movements in the air, for example, to start, stop or rewind the video display. Alternatively, spoken commands can be used to play or pause the stream. Trials have already confirmed that these AR elements have the scope to make bronchoscopies much more ergonomic in future.