METHODS: A modular handheld augmented reality viewbox was constructed from a tablet computer and a semi-transparent mirror. A consistent and precise self-calibration method, without the use of any temporary markers, was designed to achieve an accurate calibration of the system. Markers attached to the viewbox and patient are simultaneously tracked using an optical pose tracker to report the position of the patient with respect to a displayed image plane that is visualized in real-time. The software was built using the open-source 3D Slicer application platform's SlicerIGT extension and the PLUS toolkit.
RESULTS: The accuracy of the image overlay with image-guided needle interventions yielded a mean absolute position error of 0.99 mm (95th percentile 1.93 mm) in-plane of the overlay and a mean absolute position error of 0.61 mm (95th percentile 1.19 mm) out-of-plane. This accuracy is clinically acceptable for tool guidance during various procedures, such as musculoskeletal injections.
CONCLUSION: A self-calibration method was developed and evaluated for a tracked augmented reality display. The results show potential for the use of handheld image overlays in clinical studies with image-guided needle interventions.