The Advantages Of Using Polarized 3D Technology For Surgeries – Nov 30, 2017 – Hakusan, Japan (Techreleased) –Stereoscopic or 3D film has existed since the early 1900s, however we’re most familiar with its rise to fame in the early 2000s due to its widespread use in movie theatres. Recently, 3D technology has made its way into the medical field, from da Vinci robotic surgery to 3D endoscopy. With the advantages that 3D surgery brings, we’re likely to see much growth in this area.
Humans are quite good at detecting depth on 2D images. We use a variety of ‘techniques’ to sense depth, be it from relative sizes of objects, motion, textures, lighting and/or focus. When watching a movie, even though it’s in 2D you still know exactly where everything is in relation to each other.
3D Technology in Surgery
In order to perceive images in 3D, display systems must mimic the way our own eyes perceive 3D. If you hold your hand in front of your face and close your left eye, you’ll notice that your hand will appear to the left of your vision. And if you close your right eye, it will appear to the right hand side of your vision. Yet when both eyes are open, our hand appears directly in the middle of your vision. Our brains receive two different images, one through each eye, and process the images into one 3D image. In doing so, our brain is able to sense the depth of objects in front of us.
There are several ways of creating 3D images on monitors and TVs. These days the most common way is to use either polarized 3D – which is commonly found in movie theatres – or active shutter 3D – which is commonly found in TVs. For surgeries, polarized 3D is the preferred technology. But why? To answer that, you need to understand how each technology works.
How Polarized 3D Works
Polarized 3D technology displays images on a single screen, but uses a polarizer on both the monitor and the glasses, to create two different images for each eye. This is the technology adopted by our own CuratOR EX3220-3D and EX2620-3D surgical monitors. It has many advantages and is cost effective.
How Active Shutter 3D Works
The active shutter 3D technique creates 3D images by quickly switching between the left and right camera feeds while blocking the left lens when the right image is shown, and blocking the right lens when the left image is shown.
For each video frame, the monitor quickly changes from the left to the right camera feed. This means that for example, if a monitor typically displays one frame every second, a 3D monitor will have to display two frames every second – first the left frame and then the right frame. In order to separate these frames so that your left eye only sees the left image and vice versa, the glasses blacken the opposite lens in time with the switching on-screen.
Why Polarized 3D Is Used in Surgery
The biggest reason that polarized 3D is preferred in surgeries is due to its safety and reliability. Because the polarization process does not require electricity, the glasses worn by the doctor do not require batteries like active shutter technology. This is vital in potentially long surgeries as batteries may fail halfway through, proving detrimental to the patient. Furthermore active shutter glasses often have ‘crosstalk’ where the synchronization of the display and the glasses becomes skewed, and the left image may leak into the right lens and vice versa.