John-Erik Bell, MD, helped develop and debut augmented reality-assisted shoulder replacement technology.
Dr. Bell, a surgeon with Lebanon N.H.-based Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health worked with Medacta to create the NextAR Shoulder system for shoulder replacements, according to a July 19 news release. He also performed the first surgery with it in the U.S.
NextAR is FDA-approved and uses a 3D virtual model of the patient's shoulder to choose the best implant position. During surgery, NextAR Smart Glasses help the surgeon visualize surgical actions and information in real-time on the operative field.
"This is one of the most exciting advancements in technology for shoulder replacement surgery that we’ve seen thus far," Dr. Bell said. "Before I perform shoulder replacement surgery, I routinely use special software to better understand the unique shape and size of the bones of each of my patients’ shoulders. I then use the computer to determine how best to reconstruct each shoulder. This new technology now lets me execute my surgical plan even more precisely without having to work from memory or by looking at a computer screen across the room."