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  • Virtual Surgery

    Published Date : August 22, 2019

    Advancements in medical technology has allowed physicians to better diagnose and treat their patients since the beginning of the professional practice of medicine. Thanks to the continuous development of technology in the medical field, countless lives have been saved and the overall quality of life continues to improve over time.

    Even in complex surgeries, the role of technology has increased manifold. For instance, Virtual Surgery Intelligence, based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Mixed/Augmented Reality (AR) is being leveraged by surgeons across advanced hospitals. Research from McGill University shows that machine learning (ML) algorithms can accurately assess the capabilities of neurosurgeons during virtual surgery, demonstrating that virtual reality (VR) simulators using AI can be powerful tools in surgeon training.

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    German firm ApoQlar has developed the Virtual Surgery Intelligence software tool, which uses mixed reality to help surgeons prepare for and carry out the surgery. It uses AI to render MRI and CT images in 3D. When a surgeon puts on the augmented/mixed reality headset, the 3D images merge virtually with the patient, giving the surgeon a new level of anatomical detail.  This scan can be controlled with gestures and speech commands.

    The technology is also being used in visualization methods like Natural Rendering which lets images from MRI or CT scan looks natural and realistic. The gray layer images enlighten in the true tissue colors and maintain the factual 3-dimensional depth, making even the finest tissue structures become more visible and more plastic.

    Bigtechs like Microsoft are also developing solutions around this field. For instance, Microsoft’s headset, HoloLens creates blended environments based on mixed reality, enables a live broadcast of the surgery from the surgeon’s perspective. A few months back, a team of French surgeons used HoloLens to Livestream the world’s first surgical intervention performed with a mixed reality collaborative platform. Similarly, a team at Imperial College, London demonstrated how surgeons can use HoloLens headsets while conducting reconstructive lower limb surgery.

    Though the technology can’t completely replace the skill and experience of the clinical team, technologies Virtual Surgery Intelligence holds significant potential help to reduce the time a patient spends under anaesthetics and reduce the margin for error.

    Credits : Akhil Handa,Manish Kulkarni

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