Visualizing X-ray Radiation Levels with the Microsoft HoloLens
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The ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) encourages hospitals to keeping radiation doses for staff and patients as low as possible. Fluoroscopy not only exposes the patient to radiation, but also the specialist and other personnel in the room. We developed a HoloLens application to simulate and visualize scatter radiation levels during a fluoroscopy procedure in an operating room. We use holograms to improve the understanding of interventional cardiologists, - radiologists, and technologists of radiation patterns and to support them in identifying positions with high and low radiation levels. Medical physicists evaluated the application and deemed the physics model adequate for this application and agreed with the methods that were used. Additionally, we conducted a series of user tests on the prototype HoloLens application in the radiology and cardiology departments of the Albert Schweitzer hospital to assess the effect of the visualization. Our results cannot statistically confirm that users experience a learning effect, but do indicate that participants perform better at identifying unsafe positions inside the operating room. Our research concludes that mixed reality shows promise for radiation safety training purposes in hospitals and therefore deserves further research and development.