GB2533394A - Method and system for generating a control signal for a medical device - Google Patents

Method and system for generating a control signal for a medical device Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2533394A
GB2533394A GB1422720.1A GB201422720A GB2533394A GB 2533394 A GB2533394 A GB 2533394A GB 201422720 A GB201422720 A GB 201422720A GB 2533394 A GB2533394 A GB 2533394A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
medical device
input device
input
device
location
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB1422720.1A
Inventor
Moulin Romain
Heitz Renaud
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
General Electric Co
Original Assignee
General Electric Co
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by General Electric Co filed Critical General Electric Co
Priority to GB1422720.1A priority Critical patent/GB2533394A/en
Priority claimed from US14/975,107 external-priority patent/US20160183903A1/en
Publication of GB2533394A publication Critical patent/GB2533394A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/0346Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor with detection of the device orientation or free movement in a 3D space, e.g. 3D mice, 6-DOF [six degrees of freedom] pointers using gyroscopes, accelerometers or tilt-sensors
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/002Specific input/output arrangements not covered by G06F3/02 - G06F3/16, e.g. facsimile, microfilm
    • G06F3/005Input arrangements through a video camera
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/011Arrangements for interaction with the human body, e.g. for user immersion in virtual reality
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/02Input arrangements using manually operated switches, e.g. using keyboards or dials
    • G06F3/0202Constructional details or processes of manufacture of the input device
    • G06F3/0205Lever arrangements for operating keyboard cursor control keys in a joystick-like manner
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/0304Detection arrangements using opto-electronic means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/0304Detection arrangements using opto-electronic means
    • G06F3/0325Detection arrangements using opto-electronic means using a plurality of light emitters or reflectors or a plurality of detectors forming a reference frame from which to derive the orientation of the object, e.g. by triangulation or on the basis of reference deformation in the picked up image
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/0338Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor with detection of limited linear or angular displacement of an operating part of the device from a neutral position, e.g. isotonic or isometric joysticks
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/0354Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor with detection of 2D relative movements between the device, or an operating part thereof, and a plane or surface, e.g. 2D mice, trackballs, pens or pucks
    • G06F3/03542Light pens for emitting or receiving light
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/038Control and interface arrangements therefor, e.g. drivers or device-embedded control circuitry
    • GPHYSICS
    • G16INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR SPECIFIC APPLICATION FIELDS
    • G16HHEALTHCARE INFORMATICS, i.e. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR THE HANDLING OR PROCESSING OF MEDICAL OR HEALTHCARE DATA
    • G16H40/00ICT specially adapted for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities; ICT specially adapted for the management or operation of medical equipment or devices
    • G16H40/60ICT specially adapted for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities; ICT specially adapted for the management or operation of medical equipment or devices for the operation of medical equipment or devices
    • G16H40/63ICT specially adapted for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities; ICT specially adapted for the management or operation of medical equipment or devices for the operation of medical equipment or devices for local operation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2203/00Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/00 - G06F3/048
    • G06F2203/038Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/038
    • G06F2203/0381Multimodal input, i.e. interface arrangements enabling the user to issue commands by simultaneous use of input devices of different nature, e.g. voice plus gesture on digitizer

Abstract

A method for generating a control signal for operating a medical device 12 using an input device 20 (e.g. a joystick, a pointer) located in a determined environment, wherein the input device comprises an input sensor for generating instructions for the medical device. The method comprises identifying the location of the input device in the determined environment, generating a parameter linked to the identified location of the input device, generating an input signal relating to an instruction for the medical device, using the input signal in combination with the parameter to obtain the control signal for operating the medical device. The joystick may have an element (e.g. a passive element, a LED element, a RFID element (60, Fig. 4)) to facilitate image recognition using a camera 50. In another embodiment the location of an operator maybe be determined using a bracelet (70, Fig. 5) worn by the operator. Operation of a medical device is only allowed if the distance between the bracelet and the at least one medical device, or the distance between the bracelet and an input device for the at least one medical device, is equal to or below a certain set threshold value.

Description

Method and System for Generating a Control Signal for a Medical Device

Technical Field

[0001] The present disclosure relates to a method and an apparatus for generating a control signal for a medical device. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to a method for generating a control signal for operating a medical device by using an input device located in a determined environment, wherein the input device comprises an input sensor configured to generate instructions for the medical device. Moreover, the present disclosure relates to a system for generating a control signal for operating a medical device in a determined environment, the system comprising an input device connected to the medical device with an input sensor for generating an input signal relating to an instruction for the medical device.

Background

[0002] Medical devices, such as medical imaging devices, are used in combination with many other medical devices. These other devices are, for example, devices provided with a screen for monitoring data. Other devices include medical instruments like injectors or support devices such as tables. In order to operate the variety of devices an operator has to use a variety of input devices. Such input devices include remote controls, joysticks, push buttons, or similar input devices. The more devices used in one single environment, the more difficult the operation of the different devices becomes. As a consequence, there is an apparent need for intuitive input devices which help operators interact safely and easily with the medical devices they operate.

Summary of the Invention

[0003] In one aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a method for generating a control signal for operating a medical device using an input device located in a determined environment, wherein the input device comprises an input sensor for generating instructions for the medical device, the method comprising: - identifying the location of the input device in the determined environment, - generating a parameter linked to the identified location of the input device in the determined environment, - using the input sensor of the input device to generate an input signal relating to an instruction for the medical device, - using the input signal in combination with the parameter to obtain the control signal for the medical device, and - using the control signal to operate the medical device. The method can be performed in any order, for example, the generation of an input signal using the input device can be done prior to the identification of the location of the input device in the determined environment.

[0004] In another aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a system for generating a control signal for operating a medical device in a determined environment, the system comprising: - an input device connected to the medical device with an input sensor for generating an input signal relating to an instruction for the medical device, - at least one observation sensor to determine the location of the input device in the determined environment, wherein the at least one observation sensor is adapted to generate a parameter relating the observed location of the input device in the determined environment, and - a processor or computer connected to the input device and the at least one observation sensor, wherein the processor is adapted to receive and process the input signal generated by the input device and the parameter generated by the at least one observation sensor to obtain as a result of said processing the control signal for the medical device.

[0005] At least one of the above embodiments provides one or more solutions to the problems and disadvantages with the background art. Other technical advantages of the present disclosure will be readily apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims. Various embodiments of the present application obtain only a subset of the advantages set forth. No one advantage is critical to the embodiments. Any claimed embodiment may be technically combined with any other claimed embodiment(s).

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0006] The accompanying drawings illustrate presently exemplary embodiments of the disclosure and serve to explain, by way of example, the principles of the disclosure.

[0007] FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of an environment, such as a hospital room wherein an operator interacts with a variety of medical devices, [0008] FIG. 2 shows in a schematical manner, the location of an input device with respect to a medical device and a table for supporting a person, [0009] FIG. 3 is a schematical drawing of the input device, medical device and the table according to FIG. 2, wherein the location of the input device with respect to the medical device has been altered, [0010] FIG. 4 is a schematical representation of an input device provided with a reference element, [0011] FIG. 5 shows a bracelet provided with a reference element, [0012] FIG. 6 shows the use of an input device in the form of a pointer device, for indicating a specific area of interest and axis of interest on an arm of a person, and [0013] FIG. 7 shows a flow chart of an embodiment of the method according to

the present disclosure.

Detailed Description

[0014] In the present disclosure, the wording "determined environment" is used to indicate the environment where the medical device and the input device for the medical device are used. This "determined environment-can depend on the type of medical devices used. According to the present disclosure the "determined environment" makes reference to the fact that the medical device and the related input device are used in an environment which allows the identification of the location of at least the input device in said "determined environment". According to an embodiment of the invention it is possible that the location of both the medical device and the input device can be determined in the "determined environment".

[0015] In the present disclosure the word "location" is used in relation to an input device and more particularly to the use of an input device in a determined environment. According to the present disclosure, the input device is adapted to allow localization in three directions (X,Y,Z) and in three rotations to allow six degrees of freedom in a 3D environment. The word "location" refers to the position and/or the orientation of the input device in the determined environment.

[0016] In the present disclosure, the word "input device-makes reference to a device which can be used to generate instructions for the medical device. The word "input device" makes reference to for example a joystick, an indicator in the form of a stick or pen and/or, for example, the mouse of a computer. The word "input device" refers to the fact that a movement of the input device or a movement of part of the input device can be translated into a specific instruction for the medical device to which the input device is connected.

[0017] FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of a room 2 wherein a variety of medical devices are operated by an operator L The room 2 is for example a room in a medical institution, like a hospital. The operator 1 is for example a medically skilled person like a doctor or an assistant.

[0018] In the room 2 a first device l0 is present which is used as a table or support for supporting a person 11. This person 11 could be a patient of which physiological parameters of any type need to be obtained. In the room 2 a first medical device 12 is present for obtaining physiological parameters of a certain type. In order to operate the medical device 12 the operator 1 uses an input device 20. This input device 20 is, for example, a joystick which is connected to a control unit which is part of the medical device 12 or connected to the medical device 12, and which allows for controlling the movement of the medical device 12 with respect to the support 10. The input device 20 can be a wireless input device which can communicate, using a wireless communication protocol, with a medical device 12 or a control device connected to the medical device 12.

[0019] In the room 2 according to FIG. 1 a further medical device 15 is present which can be operated using a further input device 25. The input device 25 could be similar to the input device 20 or could be of a different type. It will be understood that the larger the number of medical devices to be operated by the operator 1, the more complicated the operation of the different devices becomes, especially if the operator 1 only uses the different medical devices 12, 15 occasionally.

[0020] An instruction provided by the input device 20 can be used to operate the medical device 12. A first instruction could, for example, relate to a required movement of the medical device 12 with respect to the person 11 in order to position the medical device 12 correctly with respect to said person 11 A second instruction could include a specific action to be executed by the medical device 12 in order to measure physiological parameters of the person 11.

[0021] In the embodiment according to FIG. 1, the operator 1 uses a joystick 20 to move the medical device 12 to the required position. Preferably, the instruction provided by the joystick 20 will be followed in a logical and intuitive manner by the medical device 12. That means that if the operator moves the joystick in a certain direction, the medical device will preferably follow the generated instruction by moving in a manner similar to the movements of the joystick. With reference to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, as an example, a specific use of the joystick for operating the medical device 12 is described.

[0022] FIG. 2 schematically shows room 2 in top view. FIG. 2 also shows in top view the input device 20 which has the form of a joystick. If the operator 1 would like to move the medical device 12 with respect to the support 10 the joystick could be used to provide instructions for the medical device 12 to move. A joystick movement in a direction indicated with arrow 31 could allow the medical device 12 to move in the direction 41 from right to left as seen in FIG. 2. A movement of the joystick in a direction indicated with arrow 32 could allow the medical device 12 to move in a direction 42 from the top towards the bottom according to FIG. 2. To allow the operator 1 to move the medical device 12 in an intuitive manner, the operator 1 should be positioned with respect to the medical device 12 to ensure that movement of the joystick in, for instance, a specified direction 31 will be followed by a movement of the medical device 12 in a parallel direction 41.

[0023] Turning to FIG. 3, room 2 is represented in a further top view whereby the input device 20 has moved its position with respect to the position indicated in FIG. 2. A reason for this movement could be that the input device 20 is connected to the operator 1 and that the operator 1 has moved in the room 2. The result is that the input device 20 has rotated over an angle alpha which means that the input device 20 is no longer positioned in line with the medical device 12. If no specific measures were taken, the operator 1, in order to be able to use the joystick 20 in an intuitive manner, should first return to his position as indicated in FIG. 2 or a position parallel to his position to allow the movement of the joystick to be followed by a movement of the medical device 12 in a direction parallel to the movement of the joystick.

[0024] In order to allow the operator 1 to continue using the input device 20 in an intuitive manner irrespective of the position of the operator 1 or the input device 20, according to the present disclosure room 2 is provided with at least one observer sensor 50. The observer sensor 50 is configured on its own or in combination with further observer sensors 50 to determine the location, that is to say the position and/or the rotation of the input device 20 with respect to said at least one observer sensor 50. According to an embodiment of the disclosure the at least one observer sensor 50 is configured to determine the position and/or orientation of the medical device 12 with respect to a reference in the room 2, which allows the system to determine the relative location of the input device 20 with respect to the medical device 12. Returning to FIG. 3, if the operator 1 would like that movement of the joystick in the direction indicated with the arrow 33 is followed by movement of the medical device in a direction 43, the operator 1 does not need to compensate for any rotation or displacement of either the operator 1 or the input device 20 with respect to the medical device 12. The compensation would be automatic and the movement of the joystick in a direction of the arrow 33 being followed by a movement of the medical device in the direction 43 allows for intuitive use of the joystick 20.

[0025] According to the present disclosure, intuitive use is accomplished by the fact that an instruction for the medical device 12 generated by the input device 20 comprises two elements. The first element of the instruction for the medical device 12 will be generated by the input device 20 wherein, in the example of FIGS. 2 and 3, a movement of a joystick will generate an input signal relating to an instruction for the medical device 12 to move from a first position towards a second position. The second element of the instruction is dependent on the position and orientation of the input device and is provided by the at least one observer sensor 50. The sensor 50 will determine the location of the input device and will generate a parameter linked to the identified location of the input device 20. The actual control signal to operate the medical device 12 will comprise the input signal created by the input device 20 and the parameter obtained by the at least one observer sensor 50 which will compensate for any change in location of the input device 20. The effect is that the input signal generated by the input device 20 is automatically compensated for any displacement of the input device to continue to allow intuitive use of that input device 20.

[0026] According to an embodiment of the disclosure the parameter linked to the identified location of the input device 20 generated by the at least one observation sensor will be generated prior to, while or after an input signal has been generated by the input device 20. That means that the parameter will be generated for the specific location at which the input signal was generated by the input device 20.

[0027] According to an alternative embodiment of the disclosure the at least one observation sensor 50 could continuously generate a parameter linked to the location of the input device 20 and combine the so obtained parameter linked to the identified location of the input device 20 to a generated input signal, once such an input signal is generated by the input device 20.

[0028] FIG. 4 shows schematically an input device 20 in the form of a joystick provided with a base element 21 and an input sender 22 configured to move relative to the base element 21 to thereby generate an input signal relating to an instruction for the medical device to which the input device 20 is connected. In order to allow the system described above with reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 to determine the location of the input device 20, the input device 20 comprises a reference element 60. The element 60 is specifically configured to allow the at least one observer sensor 50 to recognize the element 60 and to allow the at least one observer sensor 50 to determine the location of the element 60 and thereby of the input device 20 to which the reference element 60 is attached.

[0029] In a first embodiment of the invention, the reference element 60 could comprise a passive element, for example in the form of an elongated or triangular member, which facilitates recognition of the position and/or orientation of the reference element 60. Such a passive element could for instance facilitate image recognition when, for example, the at least one observation sensor 50 comprises cameras that enable the identification of the location by providing, for example, 3D visualization.

[0030] The reference element 60 could also comprise, for example, an active element in the form of an LED element to facilitate recognition of the location of the reference element 60.

[0031] According to a further embodiment, the reference element comprises an element for allowing electromagnetism localization.

[0032] According to a further embodiment of the present disclosure, the reference element 60 is configured to allow radio-frequency (RF) localization such as RFID localization.

[0033] In FIG. 5 a bracelet 70 is shown schematically. In one embodiment, the bracelet 70 comprises a reference element 75 which has a similar function as the reference element 60 as described with reference to FIG. 4.

[0034] In at least one embodiment, the bracelet 70 could be worn by the operator 1 to allow the system as described with reference to FIGS. 1-3 to determine the location of the bracelet and thereby the location of the body part to which the bracelet 70 is attached. The possibility of locating a bracelet 70 in a determined environment such as the room 2 according to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 will allow the operator 1 to interact with different medical devices in a determined environment while improving safety. If the plurality of medical devices is present in a determined environment, such as the room 2 according to FIG. 1 of the present disclosure, it is possible to enable operation of at least one of the plurality of medical devices such that the at least one medical device only receives instructions if the distance between the bracelet and the at least one medical device, or the distance between the bracelet and an input device for the at least one medical device, is equal to or below a certain set threshold value.

[0035] This means that if the input device comprises a touch screen, any instructions generated by touching the screen will only be taken into account if at the same time, a determined distance between the bracelet 70 and the touch screen is equal to or below the threshold value. In at least one embodiment the threshold value is, for example, between about 10 centimeters and about 100 centimeters. And in another embodiment, the threshold value is about 20 centimeters. If the distance between the bracelet 70 and the touch screen exceeds the threshold value, then this implies that the touch screen was touched by coincidence and the operator who is supposed to be providing instructions via the touch screen is not in the direct vicinity of the touch screen. In other words, generating instructions is not possible by simply touching an input device unless the system has also confirmed that the operator who is supposed to be operating a certain device is effectively either close to the medical device or close to the input device associated with the medical device. The use of the bracelet 70 therefore increases the safety of operating one or more medical devices in a determined environment.

[0036] A further use of a bracelet 70 according to FIG.5 is that an input signal can be generated by moving the bracelet 70 with respect to either a medical device or an input device. Both the movement and the location of the bracelet 70 can be used to generate an input signal. For example, in case of an emergency, if the operator touches the medical device several times to try and stop said device, the system according to the present disclosure can recognize the movement of the bracelet 70 and thus the movement of a body part to which the bracelet is attached to thereby recognizing an instruction to stop the operation of a medical device and/or any operating function of the medical device. Likewise the system according to the present disclosure can recognize the movement of the bracelet 70 and thus the movement of a body part to which the bracelet is attached to recognize an instruction to activate or commence operation of a medical device and/or any function of the medical devi ce.

[0037] With reference to FIG. 6, a further embodiment of the invention is described. FIG. 6 shows an input device 80 which, in one embodiment, is a pointer. If an operator desires information about an area of interest, such as the arm 90 of a person 11, the input device 80 is directed to said area of interest. The input device 80 comprises a leading end 81 and a trailing end 82. The leading end 81 is configured to point to and indicate the specific area of interest. The trailing end 82 could be provided with an input sensor in the form of a button 83 to provide an input signal which is linked to an instruction for a medical device to which the input device 80 is connected.

[0038] The pointed device 80 in combination with at least one embodiment of the invention is particularly useful when an operator has obtained in a first step physiological data of an area of interest, such as the arm 90 of a person 11. The data relating to the arm 90 is, for example, obtained by radiology. In the context of this disclosure radiology makes reference to any known image acquisition modality such as, for example, X-ray radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

[0039] A database of image data including data relating to a full 3D structure of a body part of interest can be generated in connection with any of the image acquisition modalities used. It is known that in some imaging procedures, after generating such a database an operator uses processing techniques, for example on a computer, to obtain specific slices, meaning images taken under a certain angle in order to try to obtain a most appropriate representation of the body part on a 2D screen. According to the present disclosure, after obtaining the data by, a radiology procedure, an operator could return to the actual body part 90 and indicate the exact axes of interest of which he would like to obtain the image. That means that the operator could position the input device 80 at a preferred position and could turn the input device 80 to a preferred angular position with respect to the body part 90 in order to obtain in an intuitive manner an image of the body 90 part which relates to the position and the angular orientation of the input device 80 with respect to the actual body part 90.

[0040] A further use of the method and system according to the present disclosure is that the location of an input device can be monitored in order to avoid losing the input device. For example, if the input device is removed from the determined environment and is no longer visible in the determined environment, an alarm could be generated. A further possibility is to use the method and system according to the present disclosure to indicate the location of a medical device in the determined environment. For example, if the operator is provided with a bracelet, the operator could position his hand in the vicinity of a medical device to locate the medical device in the determined environment. Thereafter, the actual position of the medical device in the determined environment could be obtained and/or compared with a preferred location for the medical device in the determined environment.

[0041] According to the present disclosure a single input device can be used to generate instructions for either a single medical device or several medical devices. In the determined environment, either one or several input devices are used. In case of multiple input devices, these can be used by either one or several operators. The observation sensor used to determine the location of the input device is either fixed to part of the determined environment or attached to the input device itself [0042] Figure 7 shows a flow chart of an embodiment of the method of the present disclosure. According to FIG. 7 in a first step 110 the location of the input device is identified in a determined environment.

[0043] In a second step 120 a parameter is generated linked to the identified location of the input device in the determined environment.

[0044] In a third step 130 the input sensor of the input device is used to generate an input signal relating to an instruction for the medical device.

[0045] In a forth step 140 the input device is used in combination with the parameter to obtain a control signal for the medical device.

[0046] In a fifth step 150 the control signal is used to operate the medical device.

[0047] This written description uses examples to disclose the embodiments of the invention, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the embodiments of the invention, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal languages of the claims.

LIST OF ELEMENTS

1 = operator 2 = room

= table

11 = person, patient 12 = first medical device = second medical device = first input device 21 = base element of input device 22 = joystick = second input device 31 = first direction for movement joystick 32 = second direction for movement joystick 33 = third direction for movement joystick 34 = forth direction for movement joystick 41 = first direction for movement medical device 42 = second direction for movement medical device 43 = third direction for movement medical device 44 = forth direction for movement medical device = observation sensor = reference element = bracelet = reference element of bracelet = pointer device or pen 81 = forward end of pointer device 82 = trailing end of pointer device 83 = button = arm of person = first step of method 120 = second step of method 130 = third step of method 140 = forth step of method 150 = fifth step of method

Claims (9)

  1. What is claimed is: 1. A method for generating a control signal for operating a medical device using an input device located in a determined environment, wherein the input device comprises an input sensor configured to generate instructions for the medical device, the method comprising: - identifying the location of the input device in the determined environment; - generating a parameter linked to the identified location of the input device in the determined environment; - using the input sensor of the input device to generate an input signal relating to an instruction for the medical device; - using the input signal in combination with the parameter to obtain the control signal for the medical device; and - using the control signal to operate the medical device.
  2. 2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the method further comprises: - identifying the location of the medical device in the determined environment; and - identifying the location of the input device with respect to the medical device.
  3. 3. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the method further comprises: - identifying the location of a person in the determined environment; and - identifying the location of the input device with respect to the person.
  4. 4. The method according to claim 2, wherein the method further comprises: - determining a threshold value relating to a maximum distance between the medical device and the input device; - comparing the identified location of the medical in the determined environment with the identified location medical device in the determined environment to obtain a value relating to the distance between the medical device and the input device; - comparing the value relating to the distance between the medical device and the input device with the threshold value relating to a maximum distance between the medical device and the input device; and - allowing the control signal to operate the medical device only if the distance between the input device and the medical device is equal or below the threshold value.
  5. 5. The method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the method further comprises: - installing in the determined environment at least one observation sensor, configured to observe the location of the input device.
  6. 6. The method according to claim 5, wherein the observation sensor is configured for 3D vision.
  7. 7. The method according to claim 5, wherein the observation sensor is configured for electro-magnetism localization.
  8. 8. The method according to claim 5, wherein the observation sensor is configured for radio frequency (RF) localization.
  9. 9. A system for generating a control signal for operating a medical device in a determined environment, the system comprising: - an input device connected to the medical device with an input sensor configured to generate an input signal relating to an instruction for the medical device; - at least one observation sensor configured to determine the location of the input device in the determined environment, wherein the at least one observation sensor is configured to generate a parameter relating the observed location of the input device in the determined environment; and - a processor connected to the input device and the at least one observation sensor, wherein the process is configured to receive and process the input signal generated by the input device and the parameter generated by the at least one observation sensor to obtain as a result of said processing the control signal for the medical device.
GB1422720.1A 2014-12-19 2014-12-19 Method and system for generating a control signal for a medical device Withdrawn GB2533394A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1422720.1A GB2533394A (en) 2014-12-19 2014-12-19 Method and system for generating a control signal for a medical device

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1422720.1A GB2533394A (en) 2014-12-19 2014-12-19 Method and system for generating a control signal for a medical device
US14/975,107 US20160183903A1 (en) 2014-12-19 2015-12-18 Input device, method, and system for generating a control signal for a medical device

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB2533394A true GB2533394A (en) 2016-06-22

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Country Link
GB (1) GB2533394A (en)

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2007130793A2 (en) * 2006-01-10 2007-11-15 Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Obtaining input for controlling execution of a game program
US20080106517A1 (en) * 2006-11-07 2008-05-08 Apple Computer, Inc. 3D remote control system employing absolute and relative position detection
EP2133848A1 (en) * 2002-02-07 2009-12-16 Microsoft Corporation Computer-implemented process for controlling a user-selected electronic component using a pointing device
US20120302349A1 (en) * 2005-10-26 2012-11-29 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Control device for communicating visual information
EP2632190A1 (en) * 2012-02-24 2013-08-28 Research In Motion Limited Method and apparatus for interconnecting devices

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP2133848A1 (en) * 2002-02-07 2009-12-16 Microsoft Corporation Computer-implemented process for controlling a user-selected electronic component using a pointing device
US20120302349A1 (en) * 2005-10-26 2012-11-29 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Control device for communicating visual information
WO2007130793A2 (en) * 2006-01-10 2007-11-15 Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Obtaining input for controlling execution of a game program
US20080106517A1 (en) * 2006-11-07 2008-05-08 Apple Computer, Inc. 3D remote control system employing absolute and relative position detection
EP2632190A1 (en) * 2012-02-24 2013-08-28 Research In Motion Limited Method and apparatus for interconnecting devices

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