In 2010, Moty Avisar and Alon Geri had an idea. What if surgeons could train like fighter pilots previewing their surgical procedure, much like a fighter pilot can pre-fly their mission? Surgeons would be able to increase their situational awareness from every angle and every approach as they planned a procedure. What if surgical residents could also have a place to refine and practice their skills in this system of surgical simulators? And, what if these simulators could help patients be engaged in their care plan like never before?
Now, only a few years later, neurosurgeons at major medical centers and academic institutions across the US and around the world are utilizing Surgical Theater’s transformative enterprise-wide virtual reality medical visualization platform and Precision VR™ long before a patient is prepped for surgery. This first-of-its-kind immersive environment allows for unparalleled patient education and engagement, while also delivering next-generation surgical planning and navigation capabilities.
Surgical Theater’s enterprise-wide visualization platform is advancing neurosurgery at some of the top academic hospitals, including UCLA, New York University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai, and now, Stanford University.
Much like fighter pilots do in flight simulators; with Precision VR surgeons now don VR headsets to virtually fly through their patient’s brain or body. The result from this immersive view: advanced situational awareness, precise, patient-specific surgical plans and increased surgical navigation capabilities.
Pre-plan and test surgical approaches with virtual surgical tools while utilizing optimal patient positioning
Improve surgical efficiency, while potentially reducing complications and procedure times
Seamlessly integrate with existing surgical navigation technology and tools
The Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform, or SNAP, enhances the surgeon’s current operating room workflow by integrating with and enhancing the existing surgical navigation system along with other tools and technologies while using the capabilities of Precision VR.
SNAP is revolutionizing the way delicate and highly complex cranial surgical procedures are done, and will soon be used in other surgical applications.
The platform enables surgeons to apply patient-specific surgical plans during actual surgeries with the ability to see and know what comes next in the surgical field.
Each planned step now is seen onscreen, so the surgeon can synchronize their movements in order to potentially perform the safest, most minimally-invasive procedures possible.
Plans are easily reviewed as needed right in the operating room, all in immersive virtual reality.
The detailed imaging made possible by the SNAP may lead to much more precise surgical procedures that can protect the brain and may optimize patient outcomes and recovery times.
SuRgical Planner accesses files from a patient’s traditional image modalities, such as CT or MRI scans, and processes the information to create patient-specific, VR reconstructions to help a neurosurgeon plan surgery, and educate the patient about their neurological condition.
The interactive, immersive reconstruction can be seen on a touchscreen and through the use of a VR headset, such as Oculus Rift® or HTC Vive®.
Surgeons can fly through the brain and locate medical issues such as a tumor or an aneurysm and study it from every angle.
What SRP provides is especially important when developing an intricate surgical plan by allowing surgeons to create the best surgical approach based on the patient-specific VR reconstruction.
About the Author
Aaron is a fundraiser, video journalist and growth hacker. Aaron’s segments has been featured on The Jewish Week NY, Jewcy.com,jcastnetwork.org, CNN and HLN network. Aaron holds a BA from Binghamton University and an MPA from Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU. Aaron lives in White Plains, NY with his wife Tani and his son Michael.