BioScience Trends. 2011;5(5):211-216. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2011.v5.5.211)

Evaluation of usefulness of 3D views for clinical photography.

Jinnin M, Fukushima S, Masuguchi S, Tanaka H, Kawashita Y, Ishihara T, Ihn H


This is the first report investigating the usefulness of a 3D viewing technique (parallel viewing and cross-eyed viewing) for presenting clinical photography. Using the technique, we can grasp 3D structure of various lesions (e.g. tumors, wounds) or surgical procedures (e.g. lymph node dissection, flap) much more easily even without any cost and optical aids compared to 2D photos. Most recently 3D cameras started to be commercially available, but they may not be useful for presentation in scientific papers or poster sessions. To create a stereogram, two different pictures were taken from the right and left eye views using a digital camera. Then, the two pictures were placed next to one another. Using 9 stereograms, we performed a questionnaire-based survey. Our survey revealed 57.7% of the doctors/students had acquired the 3D viewing technique and an additional 15.4% could learn parallel viewing with 10 minutes training. Among the subjects capable of 3D views, 73.7% used the parallel view technique whereas only 26.3% chose the cross-eyed view. There was no significant difference in the results of the questionnaire about the efficiency and usefulness of 3D views between parallel view users and cross-eyed users. Almost all subjects (94.7%) answered that the technique is useful. Lesions with multiple undulations are a good application. 3D views, especially parallel viewing, are likely to be common and easy enough to consider for practical use in doctors/students. The wide use of the technique may revolutionize presentation of clinical pictures in meetings, educational lectures, or manuscripts.

KEYWORDS: Dermatology, plastic surgery, tumor

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