Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Bringing augmented reality to the operating room

Nicolas Bourdel, MD, PhD; Adrien Bartoli, PhD

Competition Sponsor: EIT Health of the European Union

Numerous surgeries are performed through very small incisions with the help of a camera (minimally invasive surgery). These mini-invasive surgeries are highly beneficial to the patient but greatly complicate the surgeon’s task. If the surgeon needs to precisely locate a tumor in an organ on the surgical screen, they have nothing but one solution: to use augmented reality! SurgAR has developed an augmented reality (AR) software dedicated to laparoscopic surgery. Our software is the culmination of a long and fruitful collaboration between surgeons and scientists. The software revolutionizes the generic laparoscopic paradigm by displaying the invisible inner anatomical structures (eg tumours, arteries) on the laparoscopic screen leading to significant impact in terms of patient benefits and healthcare costs. The technology offers the surgeon the possibility to see inside the organs by merging preoperative images with the surgical view in real-time. This guides and assists the surgeon for safer, more efficient and faster surgical procedures. The surgeon is guided to respect a free margin around the tumours (with a potential significant impact on the survival), to perform the minimally invasive surgery accurately and to respect anatomical landmarks (with a potential significant impact on postoperative morbidity and mortality). SurgAR combines computer vision and artificial intelligence techniques to deliver the first functional real time augmented reality system on a mobile organ which has already been successfully used on 45 patients. AR may be the next revolution in surgery. It has the potential to bring huge benefits to the surgeon’s practice and to patient outcome.

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