We present the design of a self-contained head-mounted surgical navigation system, which consists of an optical tracking system and an optical see-through head-mounted display (HMD). While the current prototype is bulky, we envision a more compact solution via the eventual integration of the tracking camera(s) into the HMD goggles. Rather than attempting to accurately overlay preoperative models onto the field of view, we adopted a simpler approach of displaying a small “picture-in-picture” virtual view in the HMD. We believe this approach will provide suitable assistance for some image-guided procedures, such as tumor resection, while improving the ergonomics by reducing the need for the surgeon to look away from the patient to view an external monitor. We report the results of initial experiments performed with this system, while preparing for a more clinically realistic study.
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