Geo Week News

February 12, 2016

3D Brings the ICU into the 21st Century

Researchers at German Fraunhaufer institute have developed a smart monitor for intensive care units that uses 3D sensors to simplify the chaos.

In their official announcement, Fraunhaufer explains that the research is meant help reduce the chaos of the ICU by collecting all the data from connected devices and displaying it on one, centralized monitor. The monitor has also been developed to operate without requiring any medical personnel to touch the system.

This is possible because Fraunhaufer has equipped the monitor with a Microsoft Kinect and two cameras, which scan the room to determine the location of personnel, and adapt the display graphics and functionality of the monitor accordingly.

“From the door, the doctor sees data in an accordingly large size,” explained Paul Chojecki, a scientist from the Vision & Imaging Technology department at Fraunhaufer. “As he gets closer, the screen displays detailed information.”

“Our monitor distinguishes between near, medium, and further distance. The cameras cover a maximum distance of four meters. From the medium distance, the cursor can be controlled with arm movements, and commands or short reports can be input by voice. With pre-programmed gestures, for example, a video call can be started, in order to have discussions with other physicians within or outside of the hospital.”

An added bonus: no touch interface means the monitor helps to limit the spread of pathogens. Since the spread of pathogens in hospitals is still a problem, and often hand hygiene is not up to the correct standards, eliminating the need for contact.

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