An Oculus Quest 2 headset, showing the InVisionOS logo

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Immersive preoperative planning and therapeutics take a step forward thanks to PrecisionOS and co

Quick read

➨ The recent flurry of US FDA authorisations should give medical professionals greater confidence to fully embrace immersive technologies to improve patient outcomes
➨ PrecisionOS, ImmersiveTouch and AppliedVR have all successfully subjected devices and software to regulatory scrutiny over the past month
➨ VR and 3D visualisation, diagnosis and treatment are close to becoming the standard within healthcare

The story

The recent flurry of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorisations for virtual reality (VR) and 3D visualisation, diagnosis and treatment tools should give medical professionals greater confidence to fully embrace immersive technologies to improve patient outcomes.

VR specialist and healthcare training company PrecisionOS is the latest provider to receive FDA 510(k) clearance, to bring to market InVisionOS, a VR patient planning tool.

The software, set for release in early 2022 after four years under development, lets surgeons use an Oculus Quest 2 headset to carry out preoperative planning.

PrecisionOS says InVisionOS automatically converts a patient’s computed tomography (CT) scan from any PACS system into a 3D reconstruction within seconds, enabling surgeons to use Oculus Quest 2 (pictured, main) to view, manipulate and isolate relevant anatomical areas prior to performing the actual surgical procedure.

This, the company argues, allows surgeons to visualise patient-specific needs and better plan for surgery, above and beyond the current method of viewing a simulated 3D image on a computer screen and carrying that mental model to the operating room.

InVisionOS is now a class-II medical device cleared under the FDA’s 510(k) premarket submission programme, which required PrecisionOS to demonstrate safety and effectiveness.

Commenting on the authorisation, Danny Goel MD, chief executive officer at PrecisionOS, says: “We focus on developing products that improve the confidence, competency and proficiency of surgeons, ultimately benefiting patient outcomes.”

“Our new InVisionOS software, which took four years to develop, allows surgeons to visualise patient specific needs and better plan for surgery.”

A VR headset and controllers with a tablet, showing a 3D model of human anatomy
ImmersiveView Surgical Plan

Another recent recipient of regulatory backing in the US, ImmersiveTouch, is also focused on surgical planning, as well as training and patient engagement.

The immersive technology company has, in partnership with RSNA 2021, received another 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its modular software platform that allows surgeons to import, visualise, and automatically segment medical images to create accurate 3D representations.

ImmersiveTouch says its software platform reduces planning hours and increases efficiency, both of which are crucial for physicians and patients.

Already used in more than 900 procedures this year and currently deployed in nearly 70 hospitals, ImmersiveTouch’s segmented 3D models can now be utilised for medical diagnosis, anatomical measuring, treatment planning, and generating output files for additive manufacturing.

ImmersiveTouch chief operating officer Jay Banerjee says: “Adding this additional FDA 510(k) clearance for medical diagnosis and treatment planning to our portfolio just strengthens what ImmersiveTouch can offer surgeons.”

Pat Banerjee, chief executive officer at ImmersiveTouch, adds: “As the healthcare industry really starts to embrace technological advancements, we are able to help reduce surgical planning and operative times, improving surgical efficiency and minimising workflow disruptions.”

A woman wearing a VR headset, next to the AppliedVR logo
EasyVRx runs on a VR headset

Earlier in November, AppliedVR received FDA approval to begin marketing EaseVRx, which uses VR-based cognitive behavioral therapy, delivered via a headset, controller and an attachment that amplifies breathing so it can be picked up by the built-in microphone, to treat diagnosed chronic lower back pain.

To date, EaseVRx has been used by approximately 60,000 patients in pain management and wellness programmes.

Commenting on the approval, Matthew Stoudt, co-founder and chief executive officer of AppliedVR, says: “Today’s FDA approval marks a monumental day for AppliedVR, for the immersive therapeutics sector and, most importantly, for those people suffering from chronic lower back pain.”

“Chronic low-back pain can be a debilitating and an incredibly costly problem, but now we’re one step closer to achieving our goal of making immersive therapeutics the standard of care for pain.”

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Images: PrecisionOS, ImmersiveTouch and AppliedVR