Pen Tablet as Controller Unit.
Publication Date: 2002-Feb-05
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Pen Tablet as Controller Unit
Most ultrasound systems today have a fixed control panel and a fixed monitor on top
of the system itself. Due to this cart design, the ergonomical work situation for the operator is
awkward, resulting in serious health issues for the sonographer. Baker and Davis report a
figure of 27% of 10.000 respondents in a study to find the percentage of sonographers who's
career is affected by Muscle Strain Injury [Baker and Davis, 2000]. Part of these health
problems are induced by the rigid equipment setup, that forces sonographers to sit or stand in
a twisted position while looking at and operating the system besides the bed, and
simultaneously scanning the patient.
A pen-tablet mounted on a bean bag could avoid the twisted position of the
sonographer. The pen-tablet could be laid down on the patient there where the scan has to be
made. Display and controls are right there were the scanhead is put onto the patient, so the
sonographer does not need to twist his back and neck anymore to operate the equipment.
Preferably there would be wireless connections between the pen-tablet, the ultrasound system
unit, and the scanhead to relieve the sonographer, but this is not strictly necessary. Also, as
on-screen-performance is very important to perceive good image quality, preferable an active
digitizer technology is used to register the pen input (like available today and provided by
WACOM for example). Pen based interaction can improve the efficiency of interaction with
an ultrasound system. Certain elements can be manipulated directly on the screen, which
improves the hand-eye co-ordination and avoids cluttering with control...