Position tracking has been widely used in medical applications, especially in 3D ultrasound imaging, where it has transformed the 2D slice limitation into 3D volume with bigger clinical impacts. As a game controller can also produce position tracking information, it has the potential to act as a low-cost and portable position tracker for ultrasound probes. This paper aims to investigate the feasibility of a game controller to perform as a position tracker and to design its implementation in 3D ultrasound imaging. The study consists of data acquisition and 3D ultrasound reconstruction for visualization. The data acquisition is accomplished by capturing the 2D ultrasound frame and its relative positional and orientation data by using an ultrasound probe and game controller respectively. These data are further reconstructed to produce 3D ultrasound volume for visualization. Our experiments include game controller position tracker testing and 3D ultrasound reconstruction on baby phantom. The results have confirmed that the game controller performance was closely aligned with that of in a robot arm. Also, the 3D ultrasound reconstruction implementation has revealed promising outcomes. With these features, the function of the currently available ultrasound probes can be prospectively improved using a game controller position tracker effectively.

Full paper can be downloaded at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11517-019-02044-4