- Tech & Innovation
Applying Flight Simulators To SurgerySeptember 21, 2012
A new product uses flight simulator technology to help surgeons prepare for operations.
How could aviation technology apply to healthcare? An invention, made possible, from an idea that grew out of a coffee shop conversation in Ohio, according to a Fast Company article, demonstrates how flight simulators can help surgeons work with body tissue.
The Surgery Rehearsal Platform, created by a group called Surgical Theater, turns CT and MRI images into interactive 3-D models. The models include life-like tissue reaction and accurate modeling of surgery tools, according to the company’s website. While it’s an entirely different way of simply viewing MRI and CT images, the tool also provides for a 3-D experience in surgery rehearsal.
Think: flight simulators applied to surgery. The co-founders of the company are both ex-Israeli Air Force officers with experience in flight simulator projects, and they work with a team of neurosurgeons. A co-founder, Moty Avisar, told Fast Company that one element used from the flight simulator was realism. He said up to 80 percent of immersion is in visual aspects, so they worked to visualize how tissue reacts and what the reflection of operating rooms look like, according to the article. One example of a surgical application mentioned on the company’s website is applying a clip on an aneurysm. The product allows surgeons to interactively inspect and evaluate the proper application of the clip from various angles, and the tissue’s mechanical properties and visual characteristics are displayed.
From the Fast Company article on the technology:
“It aims to revolutionize the way surgeons prepare for operations by enabling them to simulate the surgery on real patient data obtained through imaging studies, without actually operating on patients.”
Medgadget caught up with the Surgical Theater team earlier this year at the US Ignite launch event in June. Watch the interview here: