Royal Philips, a provider in integrated image-guided therapy solutions, has announced the development of an industry-first augmented-reality surgical navigation technology that is designed to help surgeons perform image-guided open and minimally-invasive spine surgery.
The new augmented-reality technology will further widen the scope of Philips hybrid OR solutions to other fast-growing areas of image-guided surgery including spine, cranial and trauma procedures.
In recent years, there has been a definite shift towards the use of minimally invasive techniques in spine surgery, in order to minimise blood loss and soft tissue damage, and consequently reduce postoperative pain. Due to inherently reduced visibility of the spine during these procedures, surgeons have to rely on real-time imaging and navigation solutions to guide their surgical tools and implants. The same is true for minimally invasive cranial surgery and surgery on complex trauma fractures.
Philips is developing a new augmented-reality surgical navigation technology that will add additional capabilities to the company’s low-dose X-ray system. The technology uses high-resolution optical cameras mounted on the flat panel X-ray detector to image the surface of the patient. It then combines the external view captured by the cameras and the internal 3D view of the patient acquired by the X-ray system to construct a 3D augmented-reality view of the patient’s external and internal anatomy. This real-time 3D view of the patient’s spine in relation to the incision sites in the skin aims to improve procedure planning, surgical tool navigation and implant accuracy, as well as reducing procedure times.
As part of a joint clinical research programme, Philips hybrid ORs with this new capability will be installed in a network of ten clinical collaborators to advance the technology.
The results of the first pre-clinical study on the technology have been published in SPINE, as a result of a collaboration between Philips, Karolinska University Hospital (Stockholm, Sweden) and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, USA). The technology was shown to be significantly better with respect to overall accuracy, compared with pedicle screw placement without the aid of the augmented-reality surgical navigation technology (85 per cent vs 64 per cent, p<0.05).