Systematic review| Volume 61, ISSUE 1, P19-27, January 2023

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Systematic review of techniques used to validate the registration of augmented-reality images using a head-mounted device to navigate surgery

Published:October 06, 2022DOI:


      Augmented-reality (AR) head-mounted devices (HMD) allow the wearer to have digital images superposed on to their field of vision. They are being used to superpose annotations on to the surgical field akin to a navigation system. This review examines published validation studies on HMD-AR systems, their reported protocols, and outcomes. The aim was to establish commonalities and an acceptable registration outcome. Multiple databases were systematically searched for relevant articles between January 2015 and January 2021. Studies that examined the registration of AR content using a HMD to guide surgery were eligible for inclusion. The country of origin, year of publication, medical specialty, HMD device, software, and method of registration, were recorded. A meta-analysis of the mean registration error was conducted. A total of 4784 papers were identified, of which 23 met the inclusion criteria. They included studies using HoloLens (Microsoft) (n = 22) and nVisor ST60 (NVIS Inc) (n = 1). Sixty-six per cent of studies were in hard tissue specialties. Eleven studies reported registration errors using pattern markers (mean (SD) 2.6 (1.8) mm), and four reported registration errors using surface markers (mean (SD) 3.8 (3.7) mm). Three studies reported registration errors using manual alignment (mean (SD) 2.2 (1.3) mm). The majority of studies in this review used in-house software with a variety of registration methods and reported errors. The mean registration error calculated in this study can be considered as a minimum acceptable standard. It should be taken into consideration when procedural applications are selected.


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