BrainLAB has been granted a patent for a computer-implemented method that pre-registers an anatomical body part using an augmented reality device. The method involves determining the position of the body part in an augmented reality coordinate system, acquiring surface detection data and marker device template data, and registering the viewing direction of the device with a tracking coordinate system. The method is applicable in medical environments such as surgery or radiotherapy. GlobalData’s report on BrainLAB gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on BrainLAB, Surgical robots was a key innovation area identified from patents. BrainLAB's grant share as of September 2023 was 62%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Pre-registering anatomical body parts using augmented reality glasses

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: BrainLAB AG

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11759261B2) describes a computer-implemented method for pre-registering an anatomical body part of a patient's body using the output of an augmented reality device. The method involves several steps executed on a computer processor.

First, the method determines the pre-registration of the anatomical body part by determining its position in an augmented reality coordinate system associated with the augmented reality device. This is done using a distance measurement unit on the device. The augmented reality device is a pair of glasses with a display, and the distance measurement unit is positioned on the glasses.

Next, the method acquires surface detection data and marker device template data. The surface detection data describes the surface geometry of a marker device tracked by a medical position tracking system. The marker device template data describes the geometrical template of the marker device.

Based on the acquired data, the method determines the relative position between the augmented reality device and the anatomical body part. It then positionally registers the viewing direction of the augmented reality device with a tracking coordinate system based on this relative position. The pre-registration or the position of a fine registration region is determined based on this registration.

The method further determines the position of the fine registration region of the anatomical body part in a real image acquired by the augmented reality device. The fine registration region is an area used for fine registration with the tracking coordinate system of the medical position tracking system. This is done using a pointing tool tracked by the medical position tracking system to identify at least one point in the fine registration region.

Finally, the augmented reality device outputs augmentation information describing the position of the fine registration region. This augmentation information can be displayed on the device's display or projected into the user's eye using a projector unit. It can also be displayed as an overlay onto the real image.

The patent also describes various additional features, such as the use of light sources and detecting units for distance measurement, different types of marker devices, and the use of infrared or electromagnetic position tracking systems. The method can also involve acquiring video or still images, code pattern template data, and tracking system surface template data for registration purposes.

Overall, this patent presents a computer-implemented method and system for pre-registering and fine registering anatomical body parts using augmented reality technology and medical position tracking systems.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.