Doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center used augmented reality and a surgical robot to carry out incredibly complex spinal surgery.
A 25-year-old man was admitted to the emergency department of Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center (SZMC) after being seriously injured in a fall at his workplace. The trauma team diagnosed an unstable spine fracture that put the man at immediate risk for paralysis and other severe neurological damage.
After assessing the patient, Dr. Cezar Mizrahi, a neurosurgeon at the hospital’s spine surgery department, thought the patient could benefit from a new technological advancement: a robot-guided, augmented-reality-assisted imaging of the fractured spine.
The patient became the first in the world to undergo a procedure using augmented reality (AR) to repair an unstable spinal fracture. The operation involved AR-assistance guided by a surgical spine robot, allowing the team to apply surgical screws in an extremely precise fashion along the spinal column.
AR is an interactive experience that enhances the real world with computer-generated perceptual information. Using software, apps, and hardware such as special glasses, AR overlays digital content onto real-life environments and objects. This enriches the user experience and turns the immediate surroundings into an interactive learning environment that is revolutionizing the way companies manufacture, improve and distribute their products. It makes it possible for industrial users to “become one” with the systems and machines with which they work and to optimize and augment with human ingenuity, observation, and creativity.
AR works by superimposing digital information onto real-world objects to create a 3D experience that allows users to interact with both the physical and digital worlds, but it can’t and doesn’t exist alone. It is part of a cloud-connected Industry 4.0 (the numeral 4 stands for the Fourth Industrial Revolution) ecosystem that integrates everything from big data to automated robots.
Image Credit: Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center