Background: In the daily operation of X-ray machine, radiation technologists need to have direct close contact with patients with known or potential infectious disease, resulting in environmental contamination by pathogens if hand hygiene was not properly observed. In the last 15 decades, the method for inputting computer commands has evolved from using keyboard, mouse and to touchscreen and a touch-less method: motion sensing technology. Therefore in the present study, we aim to explore the feasibility of using motion-sensing technology to replace several computer-inputting commands that were frequently used during radiographic examination in order to reduce the chance of pathogen contamination to the radiographic equipment and accessories.
Method: In this study, two sets of gesture commands that can encompass the most frequently used computer commands for image manipulation and x-ray acquisition during radiographic examination were carefully designed. Then, the proposed gesture commands were detected by the Leap Motion Controller using motion sensing technology under a controlled experimental environment. Using Leap Motion Diagnostic Visualizer, the recognition performance, practicability and feasibility of the gesture commands were assessed by 4 different trained operators.
Results: In our proposed gesture commands, the horizontal movement of the thumb (when performing right click and exposure release command) and the vertical movement of the index finger (when performing left click, scrolling up and scrolling down command) were the key sensing component that govern and trigger the gesture command. In general, the magnitude of these key sensing fingertip movement was consistent within an operator, but was varies from operator to operator because each of the operator was allowed to achieve the proposed gesture commands with certain extent of flexibility.
Discussion and conclusion: Motion-sensing technology could practicably for image manipulation and making X-ray exposure. As a high variability exists among different operators, the application of an individual operator dependent threshold value rather than a single threshold value in the magnitude of key sensing fingertip movement of gesture commands is recommended. Also, although the implementation motion sensing technology in radiographic examination may inevitably slow down the examination throughput, it could possibly reduce pathogen contamination to the radiographic equipment and accessories, in particular under nosocomial outbreak of epidemic diseases.