Surgical Theater brings AR visualisation to operating room with Medtronic - Main

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Integrating Surgical Theater SyncAR with StealthStation S8 will allow surgeons to visualise structures in the brain, test virtual surgical tools and plan surgeries before entering the operating room

Quick read

➨ Surgical Theater has partnered with global medical device company Medtronic to enhance neurosurgery with augmented reality
➨ The partners will interface Surgical Theater’s SyncAR solution with Medtronic’s StealthStation S8 surgical navigation system
➨ The integration will enable surgeons to see a 360 deg augmented reality rendering overlaid onto the live surgical site during brain surgeries

The story

Medical devices companies such as Medtronic are at the cutting edge of surgical technology. But to add augmented reality-powered visualisation to a surgeon’s toolset, developers such as Surgical Theater are increasingly lending a hand.

Israel- and US-based Surgical Theater, the developer of a “360° XR visualisation” suite of solutions launched in 2010 to bring fighter pilot-like preparation to neurosurgery, has partnered with global medical device company Medtronic to enhance this field with augmented reality.

The partners will interface Surgical Theater’s SyncAR solution with Medtronic’s StealthStation S8 surgical navigation system, enabling neurosurgeons to use augmented reality technology in real-time to enhance visualisation during complex cranial procedures.

According to Medtronic, the treatment of brain tumours, aneurysms and neurological conditions are among the riskiest and most complex surgical procedures, requiring real-time access to detailed patient-specific information, such as the space between vascular structures, arteries and white matter location.

Integrating SyncAR with StealthStation S8, a system for visualising and navigating every segment in the spine, will allow surgeons to visualise structures in the brain, test virtual surgical tools and plan surgeries before entering the operating room.

Medtronic says the integration will also, for the first time, enable surgeons to see a 360 deg augmented reality rendering overlaid onto the live surgical site during brain surgeries.

Surgical Theater brings AR visualisation to operating room with Medtronic - StealthStation S8
StealthStation S8

Surgeons will see otherwise hidden anatomical and vascular structures, pathologies, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) white matter tracts synchronised and aligned to their operative view.

The 360 deg augmented reality rendering, created from the patient’s scans, is overlaid onto the live image viewed through the oculars of the microscope as they track the positioning of their surgical tools.

Commenting on the partnership in a press statement, Thomas Steineke MD, chairman of the JFK Neurosciences Institute in Edison, New Jersey, USA, stresses the importance of correctly identifying and navigating critical brain structures during complex neurosurgery.

He says: “SyncAR offers important benefits in planning and practicing how to approach complex cases, and now being able to actually use AR during procedures to see where instruments are in relation to critical structures while never losing focus on the patient is a significant advance.”

“In neurosurgery, it’s paramount to correctly identify and navigate critical brain structures. AR-enhanced visualisation interfacing with the StealthStation will help me achieve the best possible outcomes for my patients.”

Linnea Burman, vice president and general manager of enabling technologies within the cranial and spinal technologies business at Medtronic, says: “Medtronic’s partnership with Surgical Theater expands the utility of cutting-edge AR planning technology, so that surgeons can use it in real-time to improve visualisation during brain surgeries, which has the potential to make procedures more precise and efficient.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Surgical Theater as we strive to transform cranial procedures and improve outcomes by providing surgeons with access to innovative technologies.”

Moty Avisar, chief executive officer and co-founder of Surgical Theater, believes the integration of SyncAR with StealthStation S8 “offers the most comprehensive solution for neurosurgical planning, workflow and operative execution”.

Avisar adds: “SyncAR technology does not stop at planning and navigation; we open the skull, provide surgeons with x-ray vision of the anatomy and play an integral role throughout the operative workflow.”

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Images: Surgical Theater and Medtronic

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