A software system to provide intuitive navigation for MRI-guided robotic transperineal prostate therapy is presented. In the system, the robot control unit, the MRI scanner, and the open-source navigation software are connected together via Ethernet to exchange commands, coordinates, and images using an open network communication protocol, OpenIGTLink. The system has six states called “workphases” that provide the necessary synchronization of all components during each stage of the clinical workflow, and the user interface guides the operator linearly through these workphases. On top of this framework, the software provides the following features for needle guidance: interactive target planning; 3D image visualization with current needle position; treatment monitoring through real-time MR images of needle trajectories in the prostate. These features are supported by calibration of robot and image coordinates by fiducial-based registration. Performance tests show that the registration error of the system was 2.6mm within the prostate volume. Registered real-time 2D images were displayed 1.97 s after the image location is specified.
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