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Pen Tablet as Controller Unit. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006826D
Publication Date: 2002-Feb-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 122K

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The Prior Art Database



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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...