Xbox Kinect introduced to the healthcare sector
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and its Kinect accessory is being credited as a new life saving tool for doctors.
Doctors at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Canada have started to use the Kinect to try and eliminate hygiene problems that are common in operating theatres.
The revolutionary wireless control means that doctors can view patient notes or scans without having to touch surfaces that are infected with bacteria, such as a computer mouse or keyboard.
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Denise Amrich, a nurse and health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, wrote on a blogging site: “The problem is that doctors sometimes have to step in and out of the sterile field to gather additional information on the state of a patient in surgery.”
This means doctors continually have to wash and disinfect their hands, which increases the duration of procedures.
However, the Sunnybrook Centre has been able to eradicate these problems, using a Kinect program that has been specifically designed for medical use by a team of hospital engineers.
Dr Calvin Law, a Sunnybrook liver cancer surgeon, said: “We're able to bring that computer as if it was the last member of our team, into the working field of the operating room.”
This comes after Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, Craig Mundie, told a medical conference last month that its Xbox Kinect technology had the potential to revolutionise the delivery of healthcare.
He predicted that in the future patients would be able to attend group therapy sessions under the guise of an avatar to provide anonymity.
However, he added the Kinect technology would be used to mirror patients’ movements and expressions, enabling doctors to treat them as they normally would and spot signs of depression.