This chapter is concerned with computer-integrated interventional medicine (CIIM). The technology used in interventional medicine has been computer-based. Medical imaging devices have progressed from simple X-ray units to sophisticated systems combining advanced sensors and computation to provide unprecedented information about a patient's anatomy and physiology. Medical workstations are able to combine information from many sources to help surgeons and other physicians plan interventions and provide real-time information supports in carrying out these plans. Robotic devices and endoscopic cameras enable physicians to perform minimally invasive procedures that would otherwise be impossible. Computer-controlled systems use directed energy to destroy tumors and other malformations inside a patient's body without surgery. Computer-based physiologic monitoring devices are ubiquitous in operating rooms and intensive care units. CIIM systems consist of the following components: computational components that perform a wide variety of image processing, surgical planning, monitoring, and similar tasks; databases of patient-specific information, as well as more generic knowledge bases about human anatomy and physiology, common treatment plans, outcome data, etc.; and devices such as imagers, robots, and human-machine interfaces that relate the virtual reality of computer representations to the actual reality of the patient, interventional room, and clinician. One goal of both teleoperation and hands-on control in a surgeon extender system is to enable the surgeon to directly control the motion of the robot; the fact that a computer is actually meditating between the surgeon's command input and the robot's actual motion can create many more possibilities.
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