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Magnetic resonance imaging based neurosurgical planning on hololens 2: A feasibility study in a paediatric hospital.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this work is to show how to implement a mixed reality application (app) for neurosurgery planning based on neuroimaging data, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of its design.

METHODS: Our workflow explains how to handle neuroimaging data, including how to load morphological, functional and diffusion tensor imaging data into a mixed reality environment, thus creating a first guide of this kind. Brain magnetic resonance imaging data from a paediatric patient were acquired using a 3 T Siemens Magnetom Skyra scanner. Initially, this raw data underwent specific software pre-processing and were subsequently transformed to ensure seamless integration with the mixed reality app. After that, we created three-dimensional models of brain structures and the mixed reality environment using Unity™ engine together with Microsoft® HoloLens 2™ device. To get an evaluation of the app we submitted a questionnaire to four neurosurgeons. To collect data concerning the performance of a user session we used Unity Performance Profiler.

RESULTS: The use of the interactive features, such as rotating, scaling and moving models and browsing through menus, provided by the app had high scores in the questionnaire, and their use can still be improved as suggested by the performance data collected. The questionnaire's average scores were high, so the overall experiences of using our mixed reality app were positive.

CONCLUSION: We have successfully created a valuable and easy-to-use neuroimaging data mixed reality app, laying the foundation for more future clinical uses, as more models and data derived from various biomedical images can be imported.

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