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Evolution of the 3-Dimensional Video System for Facial Motion Analysis: Ten Years’ Experiences and Recent Developments

Tzou, Chieh-Han John MD*; Pona, Igor MD*; Placheta, Eva MD*; Hold, Alina MD*; Michaelidou, Maria MD*; Artner, Nicole Dipl Ing; Kropatsch, Walter Dr. techn.; Gerber, Hans Dr. sc. techn.; Frey, Manfred MD*

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3182223d96
Peripheral Nerve Surgery and Research

Since the implementation of the computer-aided system for assessing facial palsy in 1999 by Frey et al (Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999;104:2032–2039), no similar system that can make an objective, three-dimensional, quantitative analysis of facial movements has been marketed.

This system has been in routine use since its launch, and it has proven to be reliable, clinically applicable, and therapeutically accurate. With the cooperation of international partners, more than 200 patients were analyzed. Recent developments in computer vision—mostly in the area of generative face models, applying active-appearance models (and extensions), optical flow, and video-tracking—have been successfully incorporated to automate the prototype system.

Further market-ready development and a business partner will be needed to enable the production of this system to enhance clinical methodology in diagnostic and prognostic accuracy as a personalized therapy concept, leading to better results and higher quality of life for patients with impaired facial function.

From the *Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; †Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms, Pattern Recognition and Image Processing Group, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria; and ‡Instrumentation & Information Technology Lab, Institute for Biomechanics Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), Zurich, Switzerland.

Received March 16, 2011, and accepted for publication, after revision, April 29, 2011.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Chieh-Han John Tzou, MD, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18–20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.