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Proceedings Paper

Absolute vs. relative error characterization of electromagnetic tracking accuracy
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Paper Abstract

Electromagnetic (EM) tracking systems are often used for real time navigation of medical tools in an Image Guided Therapy (IGT) system. They are specifically advantageous when the medical device requires tracking within the body of a patient where line of sight constraints prevent the use of conventional optical tracking. EM tracking systems are however very sensitive to electromagnetic field distortions. These distortions, arising from changes in the electromagnetic environment due to the presence of conductive ferromagnetic surgical tools or other medical equipment, limit the accuracy of EM tracking, in some cases potentially rendering tracking data unusable. We present a mapping method for the operating region over which EM tracking sensors are used, allowing for characterization of measurement errors, in turn providing physicians with visual feedback about measurement confidence or reliability of localization estimates. In this instance, we employ a calibration phantom to assess distortion within the operating field of the EM tracker and to display in real time the distribution of measurement errors, as well as the location and extent of the field associated with minimal spatial distortion. The accuracy is assessed relative to successive measurements. Error is computed for a reference point and consecutive measurement errors are displayed relative to the reference in order to characterize the accuracy in near-real-time. In an initial set-up phase, the phantom geometry is calibrated by registering the data from a multitude of EM sensors in a non-ferromagnetic ("clean") EM environment. The registration results in the locations of sensors with respect to each other and defines the geometry of the sensors in the phantom. In a measurement phase, the position and orientation data from all sensors are compared with the known geometry of the sensor spacing, and localization errors (displacement and orientation) are computed. Based on error thresholds provided by the operator, the spatial distribution of localization errors are clustered and dynamically displayed as separate confidence zones within the operating region of the EM tracker space.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7625, Medical Imaging 2010: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling, 762524 (23 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.844326
Show Author Affiliations
Mohammad Matinfar, Philips Research North America (United States)
Ganesh Narayanasamy, Philips Research North America (United States)
Luis Gutierrez, Philips Research North America (United States)
Raymond Chan, Philips Research North America (United States)
Ameet Jain, Philips Research North America (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7625:
Medical Imaging 2010: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
Kenneth H. Wong; Michael I. Miga, Editor(s)

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