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HomeInternational Space Station Technology Revolutionizes Neurosurgery At Henry Ford Health System

International Space Station Technology Revolutionizes Neurosurgery At Henry Ford Health System


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Henry Ford Hospital is the first in Michigan to implement the next generation in robotic imaging technology for brain and spinal surgeries.

Ian Lee, M.D., senior staff neurosurgeon, Henry Ford Hospital, uses Modus V™ and BrightMatter™ Plan and Guide from Synaptive Medical, Inc. (Medical Device News Magazine)Modus V™, developed by Synaptive Medical Inc., is a robotic arm developed from technology previously used on the International Space Station to position astronauts, repair satellites, and move cargo. The arm contains a digital microscope which combines a high-powered microscope with a high-definition exoscope, creating unprecedented views of a patient’s anatomy, allowing surgeons to perform less invasive procedures with more precision.

Modus V is used in conjunction with Synaptive’s BrightMatter™ Plan and Guide, a surgical planning and navigation system that uses Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), which provides colorful, 3D representations of brain tracks that are unique to each patient. Similar to the way GPS works, the system may potentially help surgeons develop safe and effective routes for procedures like tumor resections.

“We are so thrilled to offer this amazing technology to our patients,” said Steven N. Kalkanis, M.D., Chair, Department of Neurosurgery and Medical Director, Henry Ford Cancer Institute. “We were early adopters of the BrightMatter system and we know how transformative it is. Now, to be able to combine it with this new, space-age robotic arm, is creating a whole new level of precision that wouldn’t have been possible even five or six years ago.”

Ian Lee, M.D., senior staff neurosurgeon, Henry Ford Hospital, said the technology helps surgeons avoid critical structures in the brain and spinal cord. “That results in more complete resections, fewer complications, less post-operative pain and a shorter recovery time. The images and enhanced field of vision we have in real-time are simply astonishing. It allows us to visualize the brain in ways we have never been able to before.”

The technology can be combined with BrightMatter Plan and Guide for advanced cranial surgery, including aneurysms, vascular lesions, and skull-based procedures. Synaptive’s Modus V may also be used for minimally-invasive spine surgery.

Cameron Piron, co-founder and president of Synaptive Medical said, “Henry Ford’s Neurosurgery Department has been a long-standing supporter of Synaptive’s technology,” He concluded, “Our next-generation Modus V system reflects feedback from their talented clinicians, and we’re excited to continue to support them in providing exceptional care to their patients.”

The Modus V and Henry Ford Hospital are featured in a new video documentary produced by NASA called “Benefits for Humanity: From Space to Surgery,” which explores how technology used to build or maintain the International Space Station has been adapted to healthcare.




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