Surgeons may soon receive a pair of helping … glasses?
The device, Video Optical See-Through Augmented Reality Surgical System (VOSTARS), is being developed over a three-year period.
The end product is a hybrid wearable display for guiding surgeons during surgery.
“The device will be able to superimpose X-ray data onto a patient’s body,” according to The Engineer.
Not to be confused with virtual reality headsets, which display an entirely different scene, augmented reality combines the real environment with the surgeon’s perception to act as a guide through surgery, according to Research Italy.
VOSTARS is designed with a head-mounted camera that captures what the surgeon does. These images are merged with the patient’s medical images from CT, MRI, or 3DUS scans.
This device could also shorten surgery time.
“Thanks to this technology, the surgeon will have information such as the heartbeat, blood oxygenation, and all patient’s parameters into his line of sight without taking his eye off the operating field,” says Vincenzo Ferreri, researcher of biomedical engineering and project coordinator.
“Moreover, he will be able to see all medical information acquired before and during the surgery, perfectly in line with the patient’s anatomy in order to provide the surgeon with a virtual X-ray view to guide hi hand with extreme precision. “
The device will also provide information about the type of anesthesia being used and the amount of time each patient spends under it.
Considerations for the wearable’s design include making sure it is ergonomic.
The project is being funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the Department of information Engineering of the University of Pisa.
The device is scheduled for completion in 2018.