openPR Logo
Press release

How can the Microsoft Kinect aid the medical field? reports

04-05-2011 03:52 PM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from:

AboutKidsHealth - leading online Canadian provider of children's health information

AboutKidsHealth - leading online Canadian provider of children's health information

With eight million units sold in its first 60 days on the market, the Microsoft Kinect’s impact on the gaming industry is phenomenal. But developers are just beginning to realize the potential of Kinect for use in medicine, reports, leading online Canadian source for children’s health information.

Kinect is a type of technology that allows the user to play video games on Xbox 360 without the need for a controller. The Kinect is equipped with a webcam-style add-on which projects infrared beams on everything in its path. This enables the user to control the game using gestures and voice commands. Further, Kinect is able to track the motions of its users. It can tell different users apart based on facial and body characteristics. Kinect is also relatively inexpensive, at $150, and holds the Guiness world record for fastest selling consumer electronics device.

"Essentially, Kinect is skeleton tracking. When it records people's gestures, it knows the exact location of all their joints. It's basically low cost, full video motion capture," says Jamie Tremaine, a mechanical engineer and developer of the technology to use Kinect in health care.

When Kinect was introduced on the market, Tremaine and his colleagues Matt Strickland, a surgical resident and electrical engineer, and Greg Brigley, a hardware developer, saw its potential for use during cancer surgery.

In surgery, there is a need to keep everything sterile around the patient who is being operated on. This is called the 'sterile field'. However, during cancer surgery, the surgeon also needs to view MRI images of the tumour on a computer, which is not sterile. Traditionally, if the surgeon wants to scan through these images during surgery, he has a couple of choices.

He can halt the surgery, remove his gown and gloves, go to the computer, find the image he needs, scrub and decontaminate himself again like he did when he started the surgery, put on another gown and gloves, and proceed back to the patient to continue the surgery. Alternately, he needs to give very detailed instructions to a colleague to find the image for him. Either choice costs time, a precious commodity when there is a patient on the operating table.

Tremaine, Strickland, and Brigley realized that Kinect technology could be used to make the surgical process a bit easier. They programmed Kinect to allow surgeons to make hands-free gestures that could manipulate the MRI images on the computer screen during surgery.

By removing the need to touch anything on the computer such as the keyboard or mouse, the surgeons can maintain their sterile field and not have to rescrub before going back to the patient. The technology was embraced by Dr. Calvin Law, an oncologist and surgeon at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, from its conception back in October.

There are many savings involved with this sort of technology. There is the cost of scrubbing, gown, and gloves. There is the time of the doctor and everyone else in the OR with him. There is a savings in terms of the time the patient has to spend anaesthetized on the operating table. And there is a savings in terms of the surgeon's concentration.

Some may wonder whether Microsoft, the developer of Kinect, had any issues with the use of their technology in this manner. !They are absolutely OK with it. I'm not using any Microsoft software whatsoever. I just use the hardware. It's kind of like modifying your toaster. I own this cool device so I can do anything I want to it. Beyond that, Microsoft has said they designed the hardware to be open by design. Also, they said they are happy to have applications that aren't for gaming," explains Tremaine.

After making a few refinements to their technology, the team is planning to go multisite with the University Health Network.

Sherene Chen-See

Please visit for additional education and children's health resources or for the original article, go to: is the leading Canadian online source for trusted child health information, and has a scope and scale that is unique in the world. Developed by SickKids Learning Institute in collaboration with over 300 paediatric health specialists, the site provides parents, children, and community health care providers with evidence-based information about everyday parenting information, health and complex medical conditions, from Kinect to teaching science. adheres to rigorous quality standards for the creation and review of health information.

Visit to find out more.

Sue Mackay, Communications
The Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 1X8
Tel: 416-813-5165

This release was published on openPR.

Permanent link to this press release:

Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.

You can edit or delete your press release How can the Microsoft Kinect aid the medical field? reports here

News-ID: 169671 • Views:

More Releases from

Why do multilingual children do better in school? investigates
Why do multilingual children do better in school? investigate …
Leading online provider of children’s health information in Canada,, investigates the way in which children are able to learn languages so easily, and why this makes them perform more highly in school. Canadian-born, Christopher Woon was just a baby when he was first exposed to the mother tongue from his parents. While growing up in the English-speaking community of Port Hope, Ontario, he spoke exclusively in Korean in the house.
How can parents help children with chronic conditions as they enter their teens? finds out
How can parents help children with chronic conditions as they enter their teens? …, leading online Canadian source for children’s health information, looks into what steps parents of children with chronic conditions can take to help them transition into adulthood taking charge of their own health. Not long ago, it used to be that most children born with spina bifida would not survive to age 20. The condition, in which the spinal column does not close properly before birth, has several types and
Are social networks essential to improving the quality of life of teenage patients? investigates
Are social networks essential to improving the quality of life of teenage patien …
Leading online Canadian source for children’s health,, investigates how social networks are becoming invaluable for the wellbeing of teenagers who are hospitalized for extended periods of time. Since its inception more than two decades ago, the Internet continues to influence the way people work, play, and access information. What started out as a medium for academics and military personnel to share research and classified information, the Internet has become an
More children turning to acupuncture to ease chronic pain, claims
More children turning to acupuncture to ease chronic pain, claims AboutKidsHealt …, the leading Canadian source for children’s health, says that more and more children are experiencing success when treating chronic pain with acupuncture. When teenager Andrew Pearce was first diagnosed with the immune system disorder Guillaim-Barre syndrome, he could barely walk. His muscles were weak and he was in deep, aching pain. At one point, he could not move anything in his body from his shoulders down. He went through a

All 5 Releases

More Releases for Kinect

WIN&I Media Viewer for Kinect for Windows released
Evoluce released the WIN&I Media Viewer for Kinect for Windows today. Users can present their images, videos, PowerPoint slides and PDF pages with simple hand gestures. Munich, 15 March 2012 WIN&I Media Viewer is one of the first commercial applications for Kinect for Windows. Users can show images and videos by browsing through galleries with a simple wave of the hand. The software is now available at the Evoluce WIN&I online
Xbox Kinect for Seniors - Gesture Control for Fun and Purpose
Seniors play with feeling and meaning Game consoles with gesture control, like Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, are becoming ever more popular – also with seniors. But the „Generation+“ is much more demanding than younger people when playing, as the innovation consultancy YOUSE from Berlin has found out. The older want games that help them learn, connect with other people or even support their rehabilitation – all under the premise of a
Evoluce TWO controls Microsoft Surface SDK applications with Kinect
The Evoluce TWO combines the power of the Kinect sensor with the amazing possibilities of surface computing experiences. Up to four users can work, play and learn on the 46” true multi-touch LCD at the same time as it detects more than 60 simultaneous inputs. User can collaborate by controlling photos, videos, documents, maps and custom applications created with the new Microsoft® Surface® 2.0 SDK. The 3D depth-sensing technology of the
Technology in the South African classroom: Microsoft's Xbox Kinect uses games to …
Teachers in a South African primary school are using Microsoft's interactive hands-free gaming systems, Xbox Kinect, to improve English literacy among learners. Microsoft says both learners and teachers have embraced the new technology in the classroom. Victor Ngobeni, Manager of Microsoft's Africa School Technology Innovation Centre, will present a workshop about the study, which is a world first, at the upcoming African Education Week in Johannesburg from 6-8
WIN&I - Touchless Gesture Control Software for Windows 7 and Kinect released
WIN&I opens up a new era in PC interaction. Windows 7 and thousands of applications can be controlled with the natural user interface released by Evoluce. WIN&I software replaces the computer mouse by tracking simple gestures from users up to several meters from the screen using the power of the Kinect depth-sensor. The user points the palm of the hand toward the screen and moves the cursor by moving the
DSstyles Announces Crystallized Xbox 360 Kinect with Swarovski Elements
Hong Kong – DSstyles, the innovator and designer of Swarovski crystal cases and gadgets announces the world’s first Swarovski crystallized Kinect created exclusively for 2011 New Year’s dreaming gift. This is another impressive shining gadget created by DSstyles under product line DS. Crystals. The crystalline Kinect is consisted of more than 5,000 brilliant cut silver Swarovski crystals, red crystals featuring DS trademark, purple crystallized Xbox 360 marks and an original