Contactless Patient Positioning in CT
What is non-contact patient positioning in CT all about?
With an optimal radiation dose, one of the factors in obtaining reliable examination results from a CT (Computer Tomograph) is the correct position of the patient. For this purpose, the medical staff manually moves the patient table into the right position. The precise alignment is based on the laser lines projected onto the patient. Some devices feature automated and therefore contactless patient positioning. Cameras and software are crucial components in such a system.
What is the challenge in positioning patients?
The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to contact restrictions at medical practices and hospitals. During a CT scan, no medical personnel are present in the examination room. But how does the patient get into the right position? The solution, but also the challenge, lies in digitalization. Positioning patients from the control room requires cameras for image capture and software for the control and display on a monitor. The important factor for the cameras is that they reliably deliver images of the patient with sufficiently low latency. Independently of the material and color of the clothing, the projected laser lines must be detectable.
Computer vision solution for non-contact patient positioning in CT
The remote control of the patient positioning in CT incorporates hardware and software components from Basler as well as Basler’s expertise in coordinating all components with each other.
The system hardware consists of three ace U color cameras with 3.2 MP resolution and GigE interface. Two cameras record the patient positioning from the rear and front while the third camera captures the laser lines. The hardware setup is completed with the appropriate lenses, an industrial PC and three 30 m GigE data cables that connect the cameras to the PC.
The system includes user and service software. The service software is important for the activation of the system and the correct camera settings as performed by a technician (FAE, Field Application Engineer). The camera’s specific firmware features come into play in this process. This means that the FAE, for example, can optimize the color reproduction according to the respective lighting situation in the examination room, to optimally display the laser lines projected onto the patient for the positioning. The user software, as seen by the medical personnel, provides a four-part display on a monitor, which consists of the three camera images for the front, back and laser pattern view, along with a control panel. If needed, each individual image can be expanded to the entire display via a mouse click.
The advantages of the vision solution for contactless positioning of patients
Easy to use for the medical personnel, low latency and high reliability of the live video stream
Proprietary service software for the setting of functional in-camera features by FAE, which make it possible, for example, to adjust the color reproduction flexibly but precisely to the local conditions
Optimally coordinated hardware and software from one source
The cameras enable a monitoring of the patient during the examination and help avoid collision-related accidents
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