Philips Uses VR for Spinal Surgery

Philips is developing a new augmented-reality surgical navigation technology that may allow spinal surgery using image-guided open and minimally-invasive techniques. The system exploits Philips’ low-dose X-ray systems for imaging.

The results of the first pre-clinical study on the technology have been published in the SPINE journal, as a result of a collaboration between Philips, Karolinska University Hospital (Stockholm, Sweden) and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, USA). The technology was shown to be significantly better with respect to overall accuracy, compared to pedicle screw placement without the aid of Philips’ augmented-reality surgical navigation technology (85% vs 64%, p<0.05).

This new technology allows us to intraoperatively make a high-resolution 3D image of the patient’s spine, plan the optimal device path, and subsequently place pedicle screws using the system’s fully-automatic augmented-reality navigation. We can also check the overall result in 3D in the OR without the need to move the patient to a CT scanner. And all this can be done without any radiation exposure to the surgeon and with minimal dose to the patient.”

Dr. Skúlason of the Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Philips’ commercial hybrid OR solutions are already being used for image-guided minimally-invasive surgery.