Scopis, a surgical navigation company, announced a mixed reality surgical navigation system that uses the Microsoft HoloLens for spinal surgery applications.
It combines current surgical navigation technologies with Microsoft’s augmented reality headset to show surgeons where they’re drilling into in real-time, without shifting their gaze away from the surgical field. The surgeon wears the HoloLens, and sees both the patient and a superimposed augmented reality image. The display overlays the planned placements of screws directly onto the patient and shows the surgeon how to correct both the positioning and the angle of their tools to get the right placement of screws.
There are several advantages to Scopis’ system over others. First, it reduces radiation exposure compared to traditional fluoroscopy navigation systems. Secondly, it allows the surgeon to keep their eyes on the surgical field as they reference where to place the screws. Current 3D navigation systems require the surgeon to look at LCD monitors. Combined, these two should improve patient outcomes by reducing radiation, improving screw placement accuracy, and decreasing surgery times.
We’ve come a long way. Spinal surgeries began decades ago with blinded screw placements, in which surgeons learned how to apply screws to patients’ spines after years of experience of looking and feeling spines and vertebrae. When fluoroscopic surgical guidance came around, surgeons used X-rays to create 2D images using guide-screws as navigation. This, however, was tedious – the 2D images gave incomplete spatial information, and required multiple rounds of iteration of guide screw placement to find the correct position. Plus, they exposed the patient to extra radiation and increased surgery times. 3D optical navigation systems represented another leap forward, allowing real-time, 3D feedback of screw placement, but still forcing surgeons to look back and forth between a monitor and the surgical field. Here, Scopis hopes to translate one of the exciting tools used in augmented reality into an important and ubiquitous one in the spinal OR.
Here’s a Scopis promo video for its holographic navigation system:
Product page: Scopis Holographic Navigation…