Attending a number of exhibitions and conferences recently, I have been struck by the increasing migration of 3-D metrology technology into non traditional areas of applications.
For example, at the recent Vision 2011 exhibition in Stuttgart, among the new products on show was the the world’s smallest optical 3D dental scanner developed by the Austrian Institute of Technology (see article in this month’s issue). Vision technology is set to play a increasingly important role in the medial sector, with, for example, virtual training applications. Another area which may develop is that of engineering assisted surgery. At the recent Make Measurement Matter event, organised by the GTMA, Ninian Peckitt, consultant, argued that this approach could be developed into what he described as factory style operations to deliver tailored treatment to patients with big benefits in terms of throughput and cost reductions to the NHS.
One concern is that of traceability and the development of standards/best practice. In the manufacturing sector, the metrology structure with attendant traceability and certification is well developed. There is a clear role for the metrology industry and organisations to help develop metrology standards for the medical sector.
Brendan Coyne - Editor/Publisher QMT