A touch panel surgical navigation system with automatic depth perception

  • Satoru Okada
  • Junichi ShimadaEmail author
  • Kazuhiro Ito
  • Daishiro Kato
Original Article



A touch panel navigation system may be used to enhance endoscopic surgery, especially for cauterization. We developed and tested the in vitro performance of a new touch panel navigation (TPN) system.


This TPN system uses finger motion trajectories on a touch panel to control an argon plasma coagulation (APC) attached to a robot arm. Thermal papers with printed figures were soaked in saline for repeated recording and analysis of cauterized trajectory. A novice and an expert surgeon traced squares and circles displayed on the touch panel and cauterized them using the APC. Sixteen novices and eight experts cauterized squares and circles using both conventional endoscopic and TPN procedures. Six novices cauterized arcs using the endoscopic and TPN procedures 20 times a day for 5 consecutive days.


For square shapes, the offset was 5.5 mm with differences between the novice and the expert at 2 of 16 points. For circles, the offset was 5.0 mm and did not differ at any point. Task completion time for the TPN procedure was significantly longer than that for the endoscopic procedure for both squares and circles. For squares, the distance from the target for the TPN procedure was significantly smaller than that for the endoscopic procedure. For circles, the distance did not differ. There was no difference in task completion time and distance between the novices and the experts. Task completion time and distance improved significantly for the endoscopic procedure but not for the TPN procedure.


A new TPN system enabled the surgeons to accomplish continuous 3D positioning of the surgical device with automatic depth perception using finger tracing on a 2D monitor. This technology is promising for application in surgical procedures that require precise control of cauterization.


Touch panel navigation Surgical navigation Robotic surgery Trajectory Depth perception  Hand–eye coordination 



This study was financially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) (No. 17209047) and (B) (No. 22390270) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© CARS 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satoru Okada
    • 1
  • Junichi Shimada
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazuhiro Ito
    • 1
  • Daishiro Kato
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Chest Surgery, Department of Surgery, Graduate School of Medical ScienceKyoto Prefectural University of MedicineKyoto Japan

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