The future is already here. AR technology is used in medicine no less than in marketing. Philips introduces new augmented reality surgical navigation technology.
This navigation is designed for spinal surgery, cranial surgery, and trauma surgery.
Spinal surgery has traditionally been an "open surgery" procedure, in which access to the affected area was made through a large incision. This way surgeons can physically see and touch the patient's spine.
In recent years, however, there has been a certain shift to the use of minimally invasive techniques, performed by manipulating surgical instruments through small incisions in the patient's skin to minimize blood loss and soft tissue damage, and therefore reduce postoperative pain.
Because of the initially limited visibility of the spine during these procedures, surgeons have to rely on real-time imaging and navigation solutions to guide their surgical instruments and implants. The same applies to minimally invasive skull surgery and surgery for complex traumatic fractures.
Philips is developing a new augmented reality surgical navigation technology that will add additional capabilities to the low-dose x-ray system (1 in the figure above). This technology uses high-resolution optical cameras mounted on a flat-panel x-ray detector (2) to image the patient's surface.
It then combines the external view captured by the cameras and the internal 3D view of the patient obtained by the x-ray system to create a three-dimensional augmented reality view of the patient's external and internal anatomy (3). This real-time 3D view of the patient's spine relative to the incision areas on the skin is designed to improve procedure planning, surgical instrument navigation, and implant accuracy, as well as reduce procedure time.
This unique AR technology in medicine is a clear example of how we are expanding our capabilities with innovative solutions in growth areas such as spinal surgery, neuro - traumatology, and traumatology, said Ronald Tabaxblat, business leader in visual therapy systems at Philips.
By teaming up with leaders in clinical innovation, we continue to find ways to transform open surgery into minimally invasive treatment to reduce postoperative pain and accelerate recovery.
As part of a joint clinical research program, Philips hybrid operating systems with this new capability will be installed in a network of ten clinical employees to promote augmented reality technology.
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