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Microsoft’s HoloLens: How these surgeons can now voyage around patients’ organs

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oslohololensaUsing Microsoft’s HoloLens platform, researchers in Oslo have developed a way of turning traditional two-dimensional medical images into 3D augmented-reality models for planning surgery and navigating around organs during operations.

The project by researchers at the Intervention Centre at Oslo University Hospital, working with developers at IT consultancy Sopra Steria, was recently awarded a Microsoft Health Innovation Award.

The data that the 3D models use comes from the hospital’s various image-generating scanning CT and MR machines. These scanners provide detailed views of the human body, but present these images in the form of two-dimensional picture ‘slices’.

When planning surgical procedures, the surgeons have to flip back and forth through a potentially large number of these slices, when using them directly from the scanning machines.

By  | ZDNet

Image Credit: Hanne Kristine Fjellheim/Sopra Steria

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European scientists developing new Augmented Reality visor to improve accuracy of surgical interventions

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imageEmploying new photonics technology, European scientists are developing a new Augmented Reality surgical visor in a bid to improve accuracy of interventions, showing anaesthetic and medical data while superimposing a patient’s x-ray in perfect unison with their body, meaning surgeons never having to look away during an operation and surgery times reduced by over 20 minutes for every 3 hours.

The VOSTARS (‘Video Optical See-Through Augmented Reality surgical System’) medical visor is a head-mounted display (HMD) system that is capable of superimposing the patient’s x-ray images in perfect 3D unison with their anatomy.

The visor also presents a patient’s anaesthetic data, heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and breathing rates, conveniently into the surgeon’s field of vision, in a drive to increase accuracy by focusing on the operation and reduce time by never having to look away.

By News Medical

Image Credit: News Medical

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The Rise of High-Tech Healthcare: 5 Trends to Watch

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healthtechThe Silicon chip and the stethoscope have long gone hand in hand. Indeed, Moore’s Law, a widely used forecast of rising computing power, can often seem to be nudging healthcare into the realm of science fiction, with life-saving high-tech innovations coming at a rapid rate today — and plenty more in the pipeline. That is surely good news for investors, and not only those with a medical focus.

“The potential for growth extends beyond the traditional healthcare sector,” says Sarbjit Nahal, head of Thematic Investing at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. With the provision that rising chip speeds can render a promising technology obsolete all too quickly (DVD, say hello to cloud streaming), here are the top five innovations Nahal and fellow “futurologist” Joseph Quinlan, head of Market & Thematic Strategy at U.S. Trust, think may offer investment opportunities in the years ahead.

By  Merrill Lynch

Illustration Credit: Merrill Lynch

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The Technological Future of Surgery

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2016_05_03-robotscanstitchsofttissue-3_22405384531-2Will we have Matrix-like small surgical robots? Will they pull in and out organs from patients’ bodies?

The scene is not impossible. It looks like we have come a long way from ancient Egypt, where doctors performed invasive surgeries as far back as 3,500 years ago. Only two years ago, NASA teamed up with American medical company Virtual Incision to develop a robot that can be placed inside a patient’s body and then controlled remotely by a surgeon.

That’s the reason why I strongly believe surgeons have to reconsider their stance towards technology and the future of their profession.

Surgeons are at the top of the medical food chain. At least that’s the impression the general audience gets from popular medical drama series and their own experiences. No surprise there. Surgeons bear huge responsibilities: they might cause irreparable damages and medical miracles with one incision on the patient’s body. No wonder that with the rise of digital technologies, the Operating Rooms and surgeons are inundated with new devices aiming at making the least cuts possible.

We need to deal with these new surgical technologies in order to make everyone understood that they extend the capabilities of surgeons instead of replacing them.

By Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD | The Medical Futurist

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Philips Announces New Augmented Reality Spine Surgery Navigation Tech

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philips-surgical-navigation-technology-based-on-augmented-reality-2Philips today announced a rather interesting new breakthrough navigation technology meant for minimally invasive spine surgery for use in their “hybrid ORs.” The ORs themselves are specialized for procedures like spine surgery and contain an integrated fluoroscopy unit with 3D reconstructions like that seen in technologies like the O-arm.

The new navigation technology combines an optical tracking system with the CT-like functionality of the fluoro unit. This provides 3-dimensional navigation functionality much like that seen in Medtronic‘s Stealth station or Brainlab‘s large library of products.

The specific feature Philips is promoting is its “augmented reality” functionality. There are additional cameras attached to the fluoroscopy unit that combine images of the patient’s anatomy with the 3-dimensional imaging, outputting the result on a high resolution monitor. This theoretically gives the surgeon a better idea of where in the patient’s anatomy he should be initiating his pedicle screw placement while also taking advantage of the 3D navigation to ensure screw accuracy through the pedicle.

By Justin Barad | Medgadget

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Touch Surgery brings surgery training to Augmented Reality

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tsTraining surgeons on specific surgical procedures is expensive and hard. London-based Touch Surgery has created more than 200 training programs for surgical procedures to be completed on a mobile phone or tablet. At CES, it announces support for a new type of deeply immersive surgery training — and potentially assistance in an operating room — on DAQRI and HoloLens.

“We believe in working with surgeons to optimize and scale best in class surgical procedures to enable training and delivery of safer surgery for patients globally,” Touch Surgery’s CEO Dr Jean Nehme told me. “To date our output has been through mobile devices, primarily for training. For 2017 we have enabled our pipeline to deliver to augmented reality platforms.”

The company is teasing its augmented reality content for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

By  | TechCrunch

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Medgadget’s Best Medical Technologies of 2016

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1824The year 2016 presented the world with a number of big surprises. Some positive, some negative, depending on whom one asks. Here at Medgadget, 2016 will be remembered for many amazing and pleasantly unexpected medical technology developments, many of which are foreshadowing cures for spinal cord injuries, effective treatment of diabetes, new ways to fight heart disease, and many other long sought-after medical solutions. Virtual and augmented reality systems, new imaging techniques, and innovative delivery approaches are changing the way doctors learn and take care of patients.

Looking back on the past year, we selected what we felt to be the most important, innovative, and surprising medical technology developments. They naturally fell into a few categories. Here we share with you Medgadget‘s choices of Best Medical Technologies of 2016.

By Medgadget

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