Evaluation of Kinect 3D Sensor for Healthcare Imaging
Stefanie T. L. Pöhlmann,
Elaine F. Harkness,
Christopher J. Taylor,
Susan M. Astley
Microsoft Kinect is a three-dimensional (3D) sensor originally designed for gaming that has received growing interest as a cost-effective and safe device for healthcare imaging. Recent applications of Kinect in health monitoring, screening, rehabilitation, assistance systems, and intervention support are reviewed here. The suitability of available technologies for healthcare imaging applications is assessed. The performance of Kinect I, based on structured light technology, is compared with that of the more recent Kinect II, which uses time-of-flight measurement, under conditions relevant to healthcare applications. The accuracy, precision, and resolution of 3D images generated with Kinect I and Kinect II are evaluated using flat cardboard models representing different skin colors (pale, medium, and dark) at distances ranging from 0.5 to 1.2 m and measurement angles of up to 75°. Both sensors demonstrated high accuracy (majority of measurements <2 mm) and precision (mean point to plane error <2 mm) at an average resolution of at least 390 points per cm2. Kinect I is capable of imaging at shorter measurement distances, but Kinect II enables structures angled at over 60° to be evaluated. Kinect II showed significantly higher precision and Kinect I showed significantly higher resolution (both p < 0.001). The choice of object color can influence measurement range and precision. Although Kinect is not a medical imaging device, both sensor generations show performance adequate for a range of healthcare imaging applications. Kinect I is more appropriate for short-range imaging and Kinect II is more appropriate for imaging highly curved surfaces such as the face or breast.