Two key projects in this area have been in collaboration with the CRaIVE consortium, which comprises of interventional radiologists, computer scientists, physicists, clinical engineers and psychologists in the UK and is driving new paradigms in interventional training within virtual environments, relevant to the specialty of Interventional Radiology. The VMG group is working within CRaIVE on the development and validation of two training simulators for interventional radiology:
ImaGINe-S supports training of ultrasound guided needle puncture and was awarded second place in the Eurographics 2009 Medical Prize for its innovative use of computer graphics in a complex system that is already far advanced towards clinical use. The Bangor Image Guided Needle Puncture Simulator (BIGNePSi) provided the starting point for several of the features used by ImaGINe-S.
The Seldinger technique requires a needle puncture into the vascular system, which then acts as the portal for the insertion of a guidewire followed by a catheter into the vessel. At VMG we are currently building a novel interface for the entry of the needle, guidewire and catheter into our virtual patient.