George Washington University Hospital and Novarad partner to implement Augmented Reality surgical technology

In Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality News

September 10, 2019 – George Washington University Hospital, in partnership with Novarad, has announced the implementation of the ‘OpenSight’ augmented reality (AR) medical solution in a surgical setting.

The OpenSight Augmented Reality System was co-created by Dr. Wendell Gibby of Novarad CEO, and Dr. Steve Cvetko of OpenSight. Powered by Microsoft HoloLens, the AR system was designed to render and allow for the visualization of 2D, 3D and 4D images and holograms of patients, while accurately overlaying them directly onto the patient’s body. The 3D holograms are created by a refractory system in the device using a combination of the Microsoft HoloLens hardware and OpenSight technology. The partnership anticipates that the system will aid with pre-operative planning, and will assist medical staff to overcome critical pre-surgical and surgical obstacles in order to help minimize patient morbidity and mortality.

Commenting on the system, Dr. Babak Sarani, Professor of Surgery and Emergency Medicine, and Director of The Center for Trauma and Critical Care at George Washington University, said: “OpenSight allows the surgeon to overlay the medical image onto the patient’s body, so not only do I see the patient laying on top of the table, but I can see the CT hologram,” adding, “Us having this technology meets the endpoint of our mission as an academic hospital.”

The infrared camera within the HoloLens headset includes ranging and localizing technology, which maps the surrounding environment – including the patient. It determines where objects are and creates mesh surface maps to determine 3D positioning. Placing visual tracking tags on the patient allows the device to track movement and allows for greater accuracy whilst using OpenSight. Image capabilities include virtual incisions to guide the surgeon, shunts, and needle placement; finding the optimal entrance and trajectory for pedicle screws, ACL tunnels and other instrumentation; finding and resecting masses; interventional biopsies, and more.

“A revolution in surgery is beginning and George Washington University is leading the charge,” said Dr. Gibby. “Using the OpenSight augmented reality device from Novarad, doctors can literally see the patient and see into them at the same time. High resolution advanced holographic imaging is merged in 3D onto the patient with optical precision. This transformative technology promises to improve outcomes in a world of more precise medicine.”

According to Novarad, the technology available through this partnership will make it possible to highlight relevant anatomical and critical structures to avoid, and more accurately plan a surgical approach. Furthermore, multiple headsets can be shared among users, which will help to improve the training of less experienced residents. A teaching version of the software is also available that allows medical students to perform virtual dissections on cadavers.

“Novarad’s unique OpenSight system uses the Microsoft HoloLens headset and augments real-world health care environments with virtual 3D patient images, and we are very pleased that they have achieved FDA medical clearance for pre-surgical use of their OpenSight solutions for HoloLens,” said Matt Fleckenstein, Senior Director of Marketing for Microsoft HoloLens at Microsoft Corp. “It’s exciting to see George Washington University Hospital become the first medical team to adopt this new system – empowering its doctors with the technology to improve surgical outcomes.”

Video credit: Novarad

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.