The London Free Press of Ontario has a story about the development of a virtual surgical patient by Atamai Inc., in collaboration with Hollywood:
A small London software company has teamed with Hollywood special effects wizards to create a surgeon’s diagnostic dream — the virtual patient. The software designed by Atamai Inc. of London produces a lifelike 3-D image allowing surgeons to look inside a patient’s brain or beating heart before and during an operation.
“It’s a little bit like Superman’s X-ray vision. . . . It guides your direction through the brain to a deep-seated tumour,” said Atamai president Dr. Yves Starreveld, a neurosurgeon at London Health Sciences Centre.
The technology — developed by researchers, the London software company and a California high-tech giant — has yielded what backers say is the first virtual patient.
Atamai’s partner is Silicon Graphics Inc., a California company that developed the visual effects technology used in such blockbuster movies as Shrek and Lord of the Rings.
Starreveld has already used the virtual patient device to perform epilepsy brain surgeries. Hospitals in Calgary, Halifax and Norway also are testing the device.
The virtual patient is expected to be vital in “keyhole” surgery, which uses the smallest possible incisions.
“In the simplest terms, it’s helping me decide where to make the hole in someone’s head to find a brain tumour,” Starreveld said.
The virtual patient also could be a powerful tool in performing long-distance robotic surgery. That technique, pioneered in London, allows a surgeon to use a computer and an electronic link to perform surgery on a patient at another site.
… the software combines information from other systems, including MRI, CT scan and ultrasound, to deliver a precise image of a real patient in real time. He said the imaging system will be a great training and education tool.
More at Atamai…