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Controlling camera movement in VR colonography

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Immersive colonography allows medical professionals to navigate inside the intricate tubular geometries of subject-specific 3D colon images using Virtual Reality displays. Typically, camera travel is performed via Fly-Through or Fly-Over techniques that enable semi-automatic traveling through a constrained, well-defined path at user-controlled speeds. However, Fly-Through is known to limit the visibility of lesions located behind or inside haustral folds. At the same time, Fly-Over requires splitting the entire colon visualization into two specific halves. In this paper, we study the effect of immersive Fly-Through and Fly-Over techniques on lesion detection and introduce a camera travel technique that maintains a fixed camera orientation throughout the entire medial axis path. While these techniques have been studied in non-VR desktop environments, their performance is not well understood in VR setups. We performed a comparative study to ascertain which camera travel technique is more appropriate for constrained path navigation in immersive colonography and validated our conclusions with two radiologists. To this end, we asked 18 participants to navigate inside a 3D colon to find specific marks. Our results suggest that the Fly-Over technique may lead to enhanced lesion detection at the cost of higher task completion times. Nevertheless, the Fly-Through method may offer a more balanced trade-off between speed and effectiveness, whereas the fixed camera orientation technique provided seemingly inferior performance results. Our study further provides design guidelines and informs future work.

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This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal, through Grant Numbers UIDB/50021/2020 and SFRH/BD/136212/2018, and by MBIE Grant ILF-VUW1901, New Zealand. We are grateful to Dr. Isabel Nobre and Dr. Sandra Sousa from the Imagiology Service of Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa for their professional assessment and comments. The authors would also like to thank Pedro Borges for his contributions during his MSc thesis work.

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Correspondence to Joaquim Jorge.

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1.1 Navigation experience questionnaire

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1.2 User experience questionnaire

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1.3 Simulator sickness questionnaire

figure c

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Paulo, S.F., Medeiros, D., Lopes, D. et al. Controlling camera movement in VR colonography. Virtual Reality 26, 1079–1088 (2022).

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