Touchless scanner control to support MRI-guided interventions

  • Benjamin HatscherEmail author
  • André Mewes
  • Enrico Pannicke
  • Urte Kägebein
  • Frank Wacker
  • Christian Hansen
  • Bennet Hensen
Original Article



MRI-guided interventions allow minimally invasive, radiation-free treatment but rely on real-time image data and free slice positioning. Interventional interaction with the data and the MRI scanner is cumbersome due to the diagnostic focus of current systems, confined space and sterile conditions.


We present a touchless, hand-gesture-based interaction concept to control functions of the MRI scanner typically used during MRI-guided interventions. The system consists of a hand gesture sensor customised for MRI compatibility and a specialised UI that was developed based on clinical needs. A user study with 10 radiologists was performed to compare the gesture interaction concept and its components to task delegation—the prevalent method in clinical practice.


Both methods performed comparably in terms of task duration and subjective workload. Subjective performance with gesture input was perceived as worse compared to task delegation, but was rated acceptable in terms of usability while task delegation was not.


This work contributes by (1) providing access to relevant functions on an MRI scanner during percutaneous interventions in a (2) suitable way for sterile human–computer interaction. The introduced concept removes indirect interaction with the scanner via an assistant, which leads to comparable subjective workload and task completion times while showing higher perceived usability.


Magnetic resonance imaging Interventional Human–computer interaction Gestures Task delegation Radiology Usability Touchless interaction 



The work of this paper is partly funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the Forschungscampus STIMULATE under Grant Number 13GW0095A and 13GW0095C. Frank Wacker declares grants from Siemens Healthcare outside of this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Supplementary material

11548_2019_2058_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (137 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 137 KB)

Supplementary material 2 (mp4 11200 KB)


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Copyright information

© CARS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Hatscher
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • André Mewes
    • 1
    • 4
  • Enrico Pannicke
    • 2
    • 4
  • Urte Kägebein
    • 3
    • 4
  • Frank Wacker
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christian Hansen
    • 1
    • 4
  • Bennet Hensen
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Computer ScienceUniversity of MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Medical EngineeringUniversity of MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  4. 4.Research Campus STIMULATEUniversity of MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany

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