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Technology and Health Care is intended to serve as a forum for the presentation of original articles and technical notes, observing rigorous scientific standards. Furthermore, upon invitation, reviews, tutorials, discussion papers and minisymposia are featured.
The following types of contributions and areas are considered:
1. Original articles:
Technology development in medicine: New concepts, procedures and devices associated with the use of technology in medical research and clinical practice are presented to a readership with a widespread background in engineering and/or medicine.
Significance of medical technology and informatics for healthcare: The appropriateness, efficacy and usefulness deriving from the application of engineering methods, devices and informatics in medicine and with respect to public health are discussed.
2. Technical notes:
Short communications on novel technical developments with relevance for clinical medicine.
3. Reviews and tutorials (upon invitation only):
Tutorial and educational articles for persons with a primarily medical background on principles of engineering with particular significance for biomedical applications and vice versa are presented.
4. Minisymposia (upon invitation only):
Under the leadership of a Special Editor, controversial issues relating to healthcare are highlighted and discussed by various authors.
Abstract: Background : Optical navigation of needles < 1 mm diameter remains a challenging task. Bending of these tools is the limiting factor. Objective : To use a conventional optical navigation system for interventional fine needle procedures. Materials and methods : A novel custom-made device was constructed to guide the needle in the direction of the planned trajectory. Accuracy of this device was analyzed with two setups (A = ballistic gelatin; B = used pork meat). For both setups, a Plexiglas cube with integrated Plexiglas reference arrays was used. Metal targets of 1 mm diameter were placed in the…center. Images were acquired using a 3D fluoroscope connected to a conventional optical navigation system. After trajectory planning, ten navigated injections were performed freehand and with the linear bearing device for each setup. A 3D scan was performed to measure the distance between contrast medium and metal target after each injection. Results : Freehand navigation with a needle of 0.9 mm in diameter was not accurate with either setup (Setup A: mean 33.4 mm; range, 3-63 mm; Setup B: mean 40.1 mm; range, 12-75 mm). Linear bearing navigation was significant more precisely (Setup A: mean 0.7 mm; range, 0-0.75 mm; Setup B: mean 0.29 mm, range 0-1.3 mm) than freehand navigation. Conclusion : The linear bearing device reduced all bending. Optical fine needle navigation was accomplished with precision comparable to electromagnetic navigation. This device may provide useful for minimally-invasive clinical applications. Follow-up studies should compare electromagnetic and optical navigation systems in the same setup.