Innovatus Imaging has been selected as a vendor in a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded project to develop a clinical platform for ultrasound-augmented laparoscopy.

Partnering with Children’s National Hospital of Baltimore, Maryland, and Terason Corp., Innovatus ultrasound engineers will assist in designing a clinical system that fuses laparoscopic video and laparoscopic ultrasound for enhanced visualization and navigation of laparoscopic procedures.

“Being selected to participate in an NIH grant in these highly competitive times is a very prestigious honor,” says Michael LaBree, chief technology officer for Innovatus Imaging. “Our expertise in design and development of laparoscopic ultrasound probes will complement the skillsets of the other participants, and we are thrilled to be among such company.”

Currently, minimally invasive surgeons are limited to a surface view of the intraoperative field as provided by real-time video. By adding ultrasound, this project will develop a new augmented reality visualization technology that will allow surgeons to see hidden structures such as tumors and blood vessels, below the organ surfaces. The anticipated clinical benefits of augmented reality visualization are shortened procedure times, fewer complications, reduced blood loss, and expanded use of minimally invasive surgeries.

“This project will bring a novel picture-in-picture technology to laparoscopic visualization and an equivalent of an instrument landing system to help place a needle precisely into the tumor for laparoscopic ablation procedures,” says Raj Shekhar, PhD, principal investigator for the project.