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A new reality in surgery | MUSC

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Mark Katz, MD, Very kind and touches the heart of a man. Then take your index finger and thumb and press them where you are interested … pinch.

Zoom out.

Thankfully, cardiothoracic surgeons do not deal with the actual heart. Rather, it’s an augmented reality (AR) model of the real heart using Microsoft-manufactured holographic headsets and Virginia-based imaging software. ClearView Surgery. If surgeons and tech companies have a say, this is the future of surgery, not too far away.

Most people have heard of virtual reality (VR). This is a completely immersive experience that replaces the real environment with a simulated environment. Movies, video games, real estate, etc. are everywhere these days. AR is a little different. Instead of using a simulated environment, AR adds digital elements to the real environment. It is also beginning to creep into everyday life. Want to see what that sofa looks like in your living room? You can check it yourself by opening the app. That is AR.

This software uses Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, which anyone can buy.

Katz manipulates the organs in different directions, so it looks like someone is trying to walk in a dark room. Reach forward and feel the furniture and walls gently. But from Katz’s point of view, thanks to AR, what he sees is a very real mind floating on the desk in the office upstairs.

ClearView Surgical engineers create accurate 3D models of the patient’s heart (although it can be any organ; the heart is always moving, so the heart is one of the more complex ones, Katz said. I have stated). Use the information from the CT scan. These models then allow the surgeon to manipulate the heart in any direction. Do I need to remove the valve? no problem. What’s behind that ventricle? Let’s take a look. The fusion of technology and medicine will one day allow surgeons like Katz to see and touch the patient’s heart without actually opening it. Result: Zero risk, tons of rewards.

Though not yet used in practice (Katz and ClearView Surgical seem to think they’re still at least a year apart), ideas that once looked like Hollywood fantasy are now science. It’s pretty close to the nonfiction of.

“Imagine everything we can do with this technology,” Katz said. Break your heart apart, turn it upside down, and give it a name. He said it was possible. All without endangering the patient. Katz believes that this technique could ultimately lead to simulated surgery. This allows the surgeon to perform extravagant experiments.

Dan Neuwirth, co-owner of ClearView Surgical, said that despite years of fundamental improvements in imaging technology, the way doctors view images has changed little since the 1950s. For the past 70 years or so, people in the medical field have seen these images on film and computer screens. In other words, it’s all 2D. Sure, technology has made 3D simulation possible, but in the end, the image the doctor is looking at is still flat.

A 3D model of a computer-generated heart, like what Dr. Katz sees through an AR headset
This image allows the user to rotate the headset in any direction, or remove parts to see what might be hidden, much like Dr. Katz sees through the headset. increase. Green represents the valve replacement device. Provided by ClearView Surgical

Neuwirth and co-owner Daniel Salzburg knew there was a great opportunity to take advantage of current technology and change it. So they approached Katz and several other surgeons across the country and asked for feedback. This is a partnership that provides the value each side needs. Katz provides imaging and surgical know-how, and ClearView Surgical creates enhanced versions. This allows the surgeon to manipulate it to his heart’s content.

“With Dr. Katz, we can harness the hearts of very skilled surgeons and work together to come up with ways to improve patient outcomes,” Salzburg said.

“It was a really great partnership. Dr. Katz is a very positive person in terms of technology,” Neuwirth added.

Neuwirth and Salzburg see this as the tip of the iceberg when using AR in medicine.

“Obviously, this is a big help for the really complex cases that Dr. Katz is working on,” Newworth said. “It’s part of the spectrum, but it also ultimately helps the population with common surgery.”

From a medical point of view, Katz sees this as the first step in his desire for a wide range of medical uses.

“Imagine being in the operating room, taking the images we have and merging them with 3D images,” Katz said. “It’s like looking into someone’s body, like wearing X-ray glasses.”

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