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access icon openaccess Quantifying attention shifts in augmented reality image-guided neurosurgery

Image-guided surgery (IGS) has allowed for more minimally invasive procedures, leading to better patient outcomes, reduced risk of infection, less pain, shorter hospital stays and faster recoveries. One drawback that has emerged with IGS is that the surgeon must shift their attention from the patient to the monitor for guidance. Yet both cognitive and motor tasks are negatively affected with attention shifts. Augmented reality (AR), which merges the realworld surgical scene with preoperative virtual patient images and plans, has been proposed as a solution to this drawback. In this work, we studied the impact of two different types of AR IGS set-ups (mobile AR and desktop AR) and traditional navigation on attention shifts for the specific task of craniotomy planning. We found a significant difference in terms of the time taken to perform the task and attention shifts between traditional navigation, but no significant difference between the different AR set-ups. With mobile AR, however, users felt that the system was easier to use and that their performance was better. These results suggest that regardless of where the AR visualisation is shown to the surgeon, AR may reduce attention shifts, leading to more streamlined and focused procedures.


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