Royal Philips is developing an augmented-reality surgical navigation technology that is designed to help surgeons perform image-guided open and minimally invasive spine surgery. The addition of this new augmented-reality technology will widen the scope of Philips hybrid operating room technologies to other areas of image-guided surgery including spine, cranial, and trauma procedures.

Philips’ 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.

“This unique augmented-reality technology is an example of how we expand our capabilities with innovative solutions in growth areas such as spine, neuro, and trauma surgery,” says Ronald Tabaksblat, business leader of Phiips’ image-guided therapy systems. “By teaming up with clinical innovation leaders, we continue to find ways to convert open surgery to minimally-invasive treatment to reduce post-operative pain and expedite recovery.”

As part of a joint clinical research program, Philips hybrid operating rooms with this new capability will be installed in a network of 10 clinical collaborators to advance the technology.

“This new technology allows us to intraoperatively make a high-resolution 3D image of the patient’s spine, plan the optimal device path, and subsequently place pedicle screws using the system’s fully automatic augmented-reality navigation,” says Dr. Skúlason of the Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik, Iceland. “We can also check the overall result in 3D in the OR without the need to move the patient to a CT scanner. And all this can be done without any radiation exposure to the surgeon and with minimal dose to the patient.”

For more information about this technology, visit Royal Philips.