VR and AR technologies are poised to impact many industries beyond gaming and entertainment and there are scatterings of examples already out in the wild. Educational platforms are immersing users into the human physiology with VR and now we have a new example of AR being used in a similarly invasive manner.
Scopis, a company in Berlin that specializes in surgical navigation and medical augmented/mixed technology, has announced a new platform that will be used to increase the precision of surgeons.
The Holographic Navigation Platform integrates the HoloLens device into Scopis’ image guidance navigation system, which projects on overlay directly onto the patient to assist the surgeon with spine surgery. Scopis adds additional 3D tracking to the overlay to improve the accuracy as well.
“Scopis’ holographic solution has the potential to make spine surgery more effective, safe, and precise,” says Chief of the Spinal Surgery Clinic at Vivantes Humboldt Hospital Professor Christian Woiciechowsky in the press release for the announcement. “Integrating mixed-reality tools into surgery is a huge technological advancement toward enhancing a surgeon’s vision and may provide greater benefits to patients.”
The use of HoloLens blows the surgical workflow wide open, not only guiding them in the work with an overlay but also allowing them to have other visuals like virtual monitors in view while not taking their eyes off the patient.
“Scopis’ Holographic Navigation Platform is a universal solution that offers specific advantages for spinal surgeries and can also be applied in the many other areas where the highest levels of precision and speed are critical. In neurosurgery, for example, brain tumors could be located faster and with higher accuracy,” said Bartosz Kosmecki, CEO and Founder of Scopis. “The development of this holographic platform further highlights Scopis’ leading role in medical mixed and augmented reality.”
At the time the above video was published, over 10,000 surgeries have been successfully completed using Scopis technology and the Holographic Navigation Platform has a lot of potential for use beyond spinal surgery. Doctors across other specialties and disciplines can easily benefit from having such a tool at their exposure, keeping a great deal of information in view while not leaving or turning away from surgical workspaces. Just like how elevator technicians are using AR to improve safety and workflow, this platform’s benefits are already being recognized in other fields.