The future is so close you can touch it Published February 24, 2011

Imagine if there wasn’t a device for navigating images, and we had to invent one. What would it look like? Who knows, but it probably wouldn’t be anything as counter-intuitive as today’s keyboard and mouse. At Sectra, we devote a great deal of time to designing the best possible tools for interacting with data. Equipped with the latest touch technology, Sectra Table is the most recent result of our ongoing effort – and it captures the spirit of the times.

Product Manager Per Elmhester says, “Look around, there are smartphones and tablet computers everywhere these days. So, in terms of riding a powerful trend, the introduction of Sectra Table is well-timed. But technology aside, it’s ultimately a solution for improving the use of CT or MR images in preop planning – to cut costs and improve patient care.”

Designed primarily to help multi-disciplinary teams prepare for surgery, Sectra Table gives the surgeon and his/her team a chance to have a final look at the patient before the operation, saving costly time in the operating theatre. Per Elmhester explains, “It allows surgery to utilize radiology images to increase efficiency. It complements the radiologist’s diagnosis, helping to avoid “surprises” during surgery. How? Because it’s possible to view the patient from any angle, in real-size 3D, and locate, for example, major veins or nerves. In extreme cases, it could mean the difference between life and death.  It’s also a powerful learning tool that not only gives medical students access to anatomy in a completely new way, but also interns a chance to learn hands-on how best to plan an operation.”

This solution is well worth considering for any clinic performing advanced surgery. But is it user-friendly and easy to learn? “Let’s put it this way,” says Per Elmhester, “my 4-year-old daughter could grasp the essentials in a matter of seconds. By simply using your fingers, you can zoom in and out, pan, rotate, tip, scroll through the image stacks and much more. And with the virtual knife tool, you can cut through image volume with a swipe of a finger to view internal or hidden structures. What’s more, thanks to the touch interface, you can easily hand over control of the table to a colleague.”

Sectra Table has been developed in close collaboration with the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV), Visualization Center C, The Interactive Institute and Linköping University in Sweden.