A 3-D mixed-reality system for stereoscopic visualization of medical dataset

Vincenzo Ferrari, Giuseppe Megali, Elena Troia, Andrea Pietrabissa, Franco Mosca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We developed a simple, light, and cheap 3-D visualization device based on mixed reality that can be used by physicians to see preoperative radiological exams in a natural way. The system allows the user to see stereoscopic augmented images, which are created by mixing 3-D virtual models of anatomies obtained by processing preoperative volumetric radiological images (computed tomography or MRI) with real patient live images, grabbed by means of cameras. The interface of the system consists of a head-mounted display equipped with two high-definition cameras. Cameras are mounted in correspondence of the users eyes and allow one to grab live images of the patient with the same point of view of the user. The system does not use any external tracker to detect movements of the user or the patient. The movements of the users head and the alignment of virtual patient with the real one are done using machine vision methods applied on pairs of live images. Experimental results, concerning frame rate and alignment precision between virtual and real patient, demonstrate that machine vision methods used for localization are appropriate for the specific application and that systems based on stereoscopic mixed reality are feasible and can be proficiently adopted in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5184927
Pages (from-to)2627-2633
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Biomedical image processing
  • Biomedical imaging
  • Machine vision
  • Stereo vision
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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