CHICAGO—Using a video game remote (Wiimote, Nintendo) to access and view radiology images could be a viable alternative to the mouse and keyboard and may help alleviate the repetitive stress injuries radiologists so often report, according to a study presented this morning at the 96th annual scientific meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
The repetitive movements required for utilizing a PACS interface have increased the number of repetitive stress injuries (RSI) in the radiology sector. “A newer interface with PACS could reduce these repetitive movements and decrease the incidence of RSI in radiology,” offered Matthew R. Amans, MD, of Weill Cornell Medical College in Ithaca, N.Y. “But, no current alternative available device can compete with the functionalities of the mouse and keyboard combination.”
Amans and his colleagues integrated the Wiimote viewer (WMV) into its home grown PACS viewer to study whether or not the device would enable radiologists to view cross-sectional studies in any position as quickly and as accurately as they do with the PACS.
The WMV detects a user’s movement and then transmits that data via the Bluetooth protocol connects to the facilities standard laptop, which houses an image viewer.
A previous study conducted by Amans and colleagues showed that radiologists may be as accurate in their interpretations with using the WMV; however, the current study aimed to assess whether radiologists were as fast.
To do so, the researchers took 20 CT cases with a series of images that were at least one year old, made them anonymous and then loaded into the PACS. The 12 subjects--four medical students, four radiology residents and four attending radiologists--were timed to perform radiology calisthenics on both WMV and the PACS.
The researchers used a pairwise T-test to understand whether or not there was a time difference between the subjects using WMV or PACS. The results of the power analysis showed a 95 percent confidence interval. In addition, the researchers found no significant time difference when using WMV compared with PACS across the study participants.
However, “there was strong relationship between radiology experience and the time trials with WMV and a somewhat weaker relationship using PACS,” said Amans. Residents and medical students were faster using WMV compared with radiologists; however, residents and medical students also were faster using PACS compared with attending radiologists.
“Residents and medical students had similar time trials using any system and attending were just as fast using WMV as they were using PACS but medical students and residents were a little bit quicker than the techs,” said Amans.
“Using accelerometer-containing devices, such as Wiimote, navigation through images can be performed without constant repetitive motion.”
Amans said that because the WMV wireless device does not have to be constrained to a flat desktop, radiologists can navigate images in any desired positions as long as the device is within 10 feet of the workstation. “You can have your hand by your side or you could be sitting in your Lazy Boy,” he offered.
“Development of devices designed to facilitate manipulation of large data sets … with minimal repetitive movements is imperative to reducing RSI,” Amans concluded. These alternative, wireless devices can be easily adopted and “speed may not be sacrificed for comfort or safety.”