SyncAR technology integrates with StealthStation S8 Surgical Navigation System...
SyncAR technology integrates with StealthStation S8 Surgical Navigation System and expands the use of augmented reality into operating rooms to enhance precision and efficiency.
Source: shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

Medtronic taps augmented reality 'flight simulators' for surgery

Medtronic partners with Surgical Theater to provide the first augmented reality platform for use in real-rime during complex cranial procedures.

Medtronic plc and Surgical Theater announced a partnership to interface Surgical Theater's SyncAR augmented reality (AR) technology with Medtronic's StealthStation S8 surgical navigation system. This collaboration will enable neurosurgeons to use AR technology in real-time to enhance visualization during complex cranial procedures. Using fighter-jet simulation technology, the SyncAR platform allows surgeons to visualize structures in the brain, test virtual surgical tools and plan surgeries before entering the operating room. By integrating this technology with the StealthStation S8 cranial solution, surgeons can expand the benefits of AR and, for the first time, see a 360° AR rendering overlaid onto the live surgical site during brain surgeries.

"SyncAR offers important benefits in planning and practicing how to approach complex cases, and now being able to actually use AR during procedures to see where instruments are in relation to critical structures while never losing focus on the patient is a significant advance," said Thomas Steineke, M.D., chairman, JFK Neurosciences Institute, Edison, N.J. "In neurosurgery, it's paramount to correctly identify and navigate critical brain structures. AR-enhanced visualization interfacing with the StealthStation will help me achieve the best possible outcomes for my patients."

Treatment of brain tumors, aneurysms and neurological conditions are among the riskiest and most complex surgical procedures. Real-time access to the most detailed patient-specific information, such as the space between vascular structures, arteries and white matter location, is critical.

Surgical Theater's SyncAR technology synchronizes with Medtronic's StealthStation S8 navigation system and microscope optics to provide unparalleled tools that may help surgeons accomplish complicated procedures with increased precision and efficiency. The combination of the StealthStation S8 and SyncAR technology is designed to give surgeons the ability to see otherwise hidden anatomical and vascular structures, pathologies, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) white matter tracts synchronized and aligned to the surgeon's operative view. A 360° AR rendering, created from the patient's scans, is overlaid onto the live image viewed through the oculars of the microscope as they track the positioning of their surgical tools, allowing surgeons to keep their eyes focused on the patient.

"Medtronic's partnership with Surgical Theater expands the utility of cutting-edge AR planning technology, so that surgeons can use it in real-time to improve visualization during brain surgeries, which has the potential to make procedures more precise and efficient," said Linnea Burman, vice president and general manager, Enabling Technologies within the Cranial & Spinal Technologies business, which is part of the Neuroscience Portfolio at Medtronic. "We are thrilled to partner with Surgical Theater as we strive to transform cranial procedures and improve outcomes by providing surgeons with access to innovative technologies."

The StealthStation S8 navigation system combines hardware and clinical software with tracking and image dataset merging algorithms, to precisely track surgical instruments and help guide the user during surgical procedures. Surgical Theater's SyncAR 360° Visualization Hub offers surgeons live and synchronized augmentation including vascular structures, pathology, and white matter tracts aligned to their surgical field of view.

Surgical Theater, the market leader in virtual and augmented reality healthcare services, is the first to combine cutting-edge fighter jet flight simulation technology with a patient's own anatomy scans. Rendered from comprehensive combined modalities of CT, MRI, as well as advanced post-processing images, the 360° virtual reality fly-through is designed to allow surgeons to walk and fly-through a reconstruction of the patient's own anatomy and pathology.

"We believe by combining Medtronic's market-leading surgical navigation, and Surgical Theater's trailblazing visualization capabilities, SyncAR technology now offers the most comprehensive solution for neurosurgical planning, workflow and operative execution," said Moty Avisar, CEO and co-founder of Surgical Theater. "SyncAR technology does not stop at planning and navigation; we open the skull, provide surgeons with x-ray vision of the anatomy and play an integral role throughout the operative workflow."

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