Toshiba unveils 3D augmented reality hybrid theatre planning application


Toshiba Medical Systems unveiled on 8 August 2013 its 3D augmented reality hybrid theatre planning application. According to the company, the 3D Augmented Reality (AR) application provides clinicians and healthcare management teams with the ultimate planning tool in terms of accuracy and efficiency of design and the dramatic reduction in design iteration costs and project time associated with creating hybrid theatres.

With the help of advanced AR technology, information about the surrounding real world in the hybrid theatre becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Artificial information about the environment and the equipment can be overlaid onto a real environment. Toshiba said it is also able to provide highly rendered images of the proposed solution to showcase the potential completed rooms to the hospital management team and clinicians.

Computer-generated images of the theatre – from the walls to the CT, MRI and X-ray equipment can be superimposed into a real life local view of the theatre. Using the application, fewer design iterations are required as Toshiba consultants are able to manipulate the augmented reality design in real-time with clinician input. The tool provides the ability for consultants to manipulate, turn or spin the room for different viewing aspects, move equipment or make dramatic alterations to the theatre layout such as wall structure so that clinicians can experience and optimise the efficient layout of the theatre before its built.

Toshiba’s design team use an Autodesk Revit 3D modelling tool to produce a high quality render of the theatre images in 3D. By doing this, Toshiba consultants can produce stunning animated 3D visualisations from 2D drawings. The Toshiba team is then able to produce a room layout in 3D and perform a virtual walk through of the theatre in planning phase to ascertain best lay outs for patient and clinician flow.

Toshiba’s planning tool has recently been used in two very different design builds of hybrid theatres at Birmingham Heartlands Children’s Hospital, which was a complex build and Colchester Hospital where extremely tight timeframes showcased the 3D planning tool’s effectiveness.

Oliver Stumper, consultant paediatric cardiologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital comments: “We have worked very closely with Toshiba throughout the planning, design, build and implementation of these theatres, which contained many novel features and first installs. Toshiba has been a fantastic partner in installing these benchmark theatres on time and within budget. There was always a very strong commitment by Toshiba to deliver a complete installation. Late changes and modifications were incorporated and made possible through detailed discussions and clearly audited financial arrangements. Toshiba made sure that the other companies that were involved in the build, including; haemodynamics, angiopump and pendant suppliers were all on board and would contribute to make these theatres work from day one. It is greatly recognised and is remembered as the smoothest installation/build at BCH, ever and we look forward to pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved.“

Mark Hitchman, managing director, Toshiba Medical Systems, comments; “With the development of our 3D augmented reality planning tool, we’re able to collaborate quickly and effectively with clinicians in efforts to develop the most efficient imaging and operating environments that benefit both clinicians, and ultimately patients.

“At Toshiba innovation is built into everything we do. Our innovative approach to technology design has seen the development of the safest and most technologically advanced imaging technology in the World. Now we’ve produced an amazing 3D augmented reality technology package that allows clinicians to plan the development of hybrid operating theatres in a fraction of the time is traditionally takes and with greater design accuracy and effectiveness – leading to huge time and cost savings. It’s another example of Toshiba’s core drivers of putting the patient and physician first in everything we design.”