OK, let me start apologising for the title. A bit too cryptic, but it captures the essence of this news.
Surgeons have now available plenty of images. most of them rendering of data analyses by a computer. These images are displayed on screens (even film images like radiography are displayed on flat panels and more an more on video displays), i.e. they are 2D representation of 3D objects, the body, organs and tissues of the patient.
The surgeon brain has to do the conversion from 2D to 3D to guide the surgeon’s hands into performing the right movements. This is tricky. Thinks about removing a tumour. The goal is to remove all cancerous cells and none of the normal cells. This is clearly impossible so the goal becomes to remove all cancerous cells and as few as possible of the normal cells. To stay on the safe side the surgeons is usually removing normal cells around the tumour to make sure that all cancerous cells are removed. The images are taken from different angles so that the surgeon’s brain can reconstruct the exact size and shape of the tumour combining the different 2D images into an actionable 3D shape.
This is not easy and this is where the software, and system, developed by MediView comes in to help. MediView is a start-up based in Ohio, US, developing tools for Extended Reality Surgical Navigation.
Using MS HoloLens or other devices supporting Augmented Reality the MediView software let the surgeon to see where the instrument she is using goes under the skin, into an organ, making use of all data harvested through exams and rendered in such a way to create a meaningful image overlaid on the physical patient.
The software can also be used (watch the clip) for training and to prepare for the surgery, visually recreating the operating field and the location shape and dimension of the tumour that will have to be removed. The surgeon can practice and experiment with different approaches “seeing” the anatomical structures in detail and at any level of magnification.
MediView started trials on 5 real patient in August 2019 and it is working to fine tune the software aiming at getting approval for clinical use by FDA in 2021.