NZ Technologies, a Vancouver-based technology firm, developed an interactive hologram device to assist surgeons and radiologists at British Columbia’s Surrey Memorial Hospital.
The system, called Tipso – or “touchless interaction with PACs in sterile operation” – is designed to project a holographic menu with all the controls for the picture archiving & communication system directly onto the patient’s bed drape, within the sterile field.
During surgeries, surgeons and radiologists often have to leave the sterile surgery room and remove their surgery gear to look at radiology images of their patient using PACs, a radiology image server installed in hospitals. Once they’re done, the surgeons scrub up again and head back to surgery. The process of re-sterilization adds time to each procedure and can increase the patient’s risk of infection. Tipso is designed to remove that risk, according to NZ Technologies founder and CEO Nima Ziraknejad.
“To visualize Tipso, imagine a surgeon in an operation looking at a patient’s CT image on the monitors,” Ziraknejad explained to Business Vancouver. “He looks down to see a virtual zoom icon that is holographically projected over the surface of the bed where the operation is happening. He twirls his finger over it to zoom in on the image. This is what Tipso does – it allows a surgeon to easily control patient images directly from the operating space.”
Drs. David Liu and Behrang Homayoon, radiologists at Vancouver General Hospital, reached out to NZ Technologies about the Tipso device in an attempt to reduce the time of lengthy surgical procedures. After incorporating Tipso into their operating rooms, Liu and Homayoon reported that the device reduced operating times as much as 15%.
The technology is integrated with surgery rooms at Surrey Memorial Hospital, where surgeons perform over 450 surgeries each day. James Bond, head of thoracic surgery at the hospital, said the value of the device comes from “coordinating my operations with imaging while staying at the bed because I don’t want to scrub out of the case. Also, staying cognitively focused is very important during the surgery as to not take attention away.”