Biomedical Applications Simulations

As advanced simulations integrate increasingly larger data sets, it is essential to explore the use of high performance computing to assure tractable methods of investigating computational data. As these data combine information from multiple sources, it is important to research advanced interface technology and develop more intuitive methods for interaction with large and complex multimodal data sets. Advanced intuitive interfaces are needed to integrate these vast amounts of multisensory data into a single coherent simulation. These interfaces will facilitate exploration and interaction, and will increase understanding of complex data.

The Biomedical Applications Research initiative at the Ohio Supercomputer Center in Columbus, Ohio involves an interdisciplinary group comprising faculty, research scientists, and clinicians. The goals of the group include applying high performance computing and advanced interface technology to virtual exploration of complex computational data, specifically biomedical information.

The interdisciplinary group has been working together over the past three and a half years. Current efforts include integrating visual, speech and haptic (force reflecting technologies so that one can "feel" what is happening in the computer simulation) interfaces for scientific visualization, surgical preplanning, resident training, and telemedicine.

Initially we begin with patient specific information. This issue is extremely important for the clinician. We acquire data from subjects and patients through modalities such as electroencephalogram (EEG), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR), and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Forces used during surgical techniques have been obtained by performing surgery on animal models or on cadaveric specimens.

These data are reconstructed in the computer and rendered to create as realistic as possible representations of the patient information. Our work is accomplished on high performance graphics workstations. Currently, this work cannot be achieved on a personal computer. in order to interact with the information, we have applied various interface equipment including stereo imaging, voice interaction, instrumented gloved interfaces, and specialized interface equipment that resembles actual medical equipment.

The main goal is to synthesize biomedical phenomenon that provides for training or pre-operative planning. This provides a non-threatening environment for the user, allowing them to make mistakes and learn from them.