Illinois hospital launches augmented reality spine surgery

Practice Management

Kankakee, Ill.-based Riverside Healthcare became the first hospital in the state to offer augmented reality-assisted spine surgery, the Daily Journal reported March 8.

The technology determines the position of surgical tools and superimposes them on the patient's CT data, which is projected onto the surgeon's retina using a headset, allowing the surgeon to simultaneously look at the patient and the navigation data. 

"With brain or spine surgery, every millimeter counts," Juan Jimenez, MD, medical director of Riverside Neurosciences Institute, said. "Augmented reality gives us clear visualization of the area we are working in, along with being able to literally 'see' things we can't in the incision area."

Riverside Healthcare partnered with Brainlab to add its Zeiss Kinevo Microscope to its spine progam. The device is equipped with optical and digital visualization to streamline spine and neurosurgical procedures, according to the company. 

Current AR technologies focus on placing pedicle screws more accurately and efficiently. As the technology evolves, it will guide the placement of interbody cages and facilitate precision neural compression, according to Frank Phillips, MD, one of the first adopters of AR spine surgery.

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