Augmented reality in orthopedics: 4 developments

Carly Behm -  

Augmented reality has grown in orthopedics since the beginning of 2022. From new technology and surgeon insight, here are four things to know:

1. Medacta's NextAR augmented reality shoulder system was released in April. The technology debuted in 2021, and more than 200 patients have been treated in Europe and the U.S. since it was introduced, according to a news release.

2. Pixee Medical's Knee+ system was commercially launched in the U.S. more than a year after it debuted in Europe and Australia. Knee+ is a platform using 3D imaging and augmented reality to assist total knee replacements. It was launched in Australia and Europe in January 2021.

3. AR and other technologies are key to saving the orthopedic specialty, said Harvinder Sandhu, MD, who practices at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

"The use of advanced technology such as robotics, augmented reality navigation and better endoscopic imaging, has had a dramatic effect on patient safety and ultimately will increase the number of patients that can be indicated for musculoskeletal surgery," he said.

4. In spine surgery, AR applications are growing in the field. Surgalign's combination artificial intelligence and augmented reality surgical guidance system, Holo Portal, debuted at Indiana Spine Hospital in Carmel. It incorporates intraoperative images to plan screw placement trajectories and shows anatomy and pinpoints the paths using AR.

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