Design and Evaluation of Haptic Guidance in Ultrasound-Based Needle-Insertion Procedures

IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering(2024)

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Objective: This article presents two haptic guidance systems designed to help a clinician keep an ultrasound probe steady when completing ultrasound-assisted needle insertion tasks. These procedures demand spatial reasoning and hand-eye coordination because the clinician must align a needle with the ultrasound probe and extrapolate the needle trajectory using only a 2D ultrasound image. Past research has shown that visual guidance helps the clinician align the needle, but does not help the clinician keep the ultrasound probe steady, sometimes resulting in a failed procedure. Methods: We created two separate haptic guidance systems to provide feedback if the user tilts the ultrasound probe away from the desired setpoint using (1) vibrotactile stimulation provided by a voice coil motor or (2) distributed tactile pressure provided by a pneumatic mechanism. Results: Both systems significantly reduced probe deviation and correction time to errors during a needle insertion task. We also tested the two feedback systems in a more clinically relevant setup and showed that the perceptibility of the feedback was not affected by the addition of a sterile bag placed over the actuators and gloves worn by the user. Conclusion: These studies show that both types of haptic feedback are promising for helping the user keep the ultrasound probe steady during ultrasound-assisted needle insertion tasks. Survey results indicated that users preferred the pneumatic system over the vibrotactile system. Significance: Haptic feedback may improve user performance in ultrasound-based needle-insertion procedures and shows promise in training for needle-insertion tasks and other medical procedures where guidance is required.
Probes,Ultrasonic imaging,Haptic interfaces,Needles,Task analysis,Visualization,Vibrations,Ultrasound,haptic feedback,instrument guidance,image guidance
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