Novarad’s OpenSight Augmented Reality System Guides the Way in First Surgical Use

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Sophisticated app for Microsoft’s HoloLens renders patient studies into 3D and presents them in an interactive manner accurately overlaid directly onto the patient’s body

A patient undergoes an Automated Percutaneous Lumbar Discectomy—or APLD—while Novarad’s OpenSight augmented reality technology assists the operating surgeon, Dr. Wendell Gibby
A patient undergoes an Automated Percutaneous Lumbar Discectomy—or APLD—while Novarad’s OpenSight augmented reality technology assists the operating surgeon, Dr. Wendell Gibby

The OpenSight™ Augmented Reality System guided the way in the first known surgical use of Microsoft’s HoloLens. Novarad Corporation, a leader in the development of medical imaging software, created OpenSight to render patient studies into 3D and present them in an interactive manner accurately overlaid directly onto the patient’s body. This leverages a host of advanced technologies including 3D imaging, advanced segmentation and rendering, registration, motion correction, virtual tools and 3D annotation technologies.

Dr. Wendell Gibby, neuroradiologist and CEO of Novarad, performed the operation. The procedure—Automated Percutaneous Lumbar Discectomy, or APLD—serves to alleviate back and leg pain associated with disk herniation.

“This is very new stuff. It’s the first procedure I’m aware of that has done this in the world. People have performed some work with 3D models and simulations,” Gibby said. “We had some papers recently at the ASNR [American Society of Neuroradiology] about this, but it’s the first time we’ve tried it on a patient.”

The OpenSight software has proven beneficial in overcoming certain obstacles with surgical operations, and has the potential to improve accuracy, increase operational efficiency and to decrease mistakes in surgeries. According to Gibby, it can be difficult to find things surgically and the ability to see three dimensionally eliminates much of the challenge.

Using the HoloLens technology, OpenSight registers medical imaging studies such as MRIs and CTs over the patient in real time, enabling the wearer to both see the patient and see through the patient with dynamic holograms of their internal anatomy.

“We are using cutting-edge augmented reality to display a 3D version of a patient’s anatomy on the actual patient,” said Steve Cvetko, Director of Research and Development at Novarad. “It offers a true, life-size rendering with exact alignment and orientation, which is valuable for medical education, research and, of course, surgery.”

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