How light field technology could be the most disruptive OR technology of the last 100 years.
It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is slow to adopt new technology. As we look at the pace of innovation in the consumer space, we see technology transforming life at a breakneck pace. How we shop, bank, communicate – even dating has moved from analog to digital: swipe right.
For an industry that touches every human life around the planet – healthcare is often simply felt to be too fragmented, wide-ranging and highly-regulated to be disrupted in the same way that technology has shaped and pushed all other aspects of our everyday world. However, this concept and framework is changing largely due to the pace, scale and potential of new technology.
Computational science, the bedrock of technology innovation, is finding its way into the operating room and innovations in technology such as light field imaging stand to transform and displace long-relied on modalities such as X-rays and CT scans.
The use of light field technology has the potential to take medicine to a new level and to radically change surgery allowing for computer vision, machine learning and big data to finally arrive in a meaningful way in surgery.
Leonardo da Vinci conceptualized light field technology in the late 15th century, exploring how light at different angles can be analyzed and understood. The vast capabilities of light fields has led Silicon Valley tech giants to explore light field’s applications for years and only more recently has this technology been looked at for use in medicine.
Our interest has been understanding how light field can impact spine surgery in a variety of ways, including providing better data, improving surgical performance, and surgical training advancement. With more than 1.3 million people receiving spine surgery in the United States each year, light field technology has the potential to impact a lot of lives.
By Dr. Samuel Browd | Orthopedic Design & Technology
Image Credit: Proprio