The state of AR in spine surgery in 2023

Spinal Tech

Augmented reality in spine surgery is growing. Last year, several AR spine systems hit the market, and this year surgeons are continuing to adopt the technology.

In 2022, several spine-specific AR systems went to market. Surglasses' Caduceus S received FDA 510(k) clearance, Holo Portal debuted and Hoag's Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute and debuted SyncAR by Surgical Theater. VisAR, an augmented reality surgical guidance system, also received FDA approval for intraoperative spine surgery.

This year, AR tech is expanding among spine surgeons. This year, Augmedics reached its 4,000th total case with Xvision in June six months after surpassing 3,000 cases. The Holo Portal system, which was introduced in 2022, now has a next-generation upgrade and recently pushed into Virginia and Texas. Caduceus S, on the heels of its FDA clearance, debuted in the U.S. in March.

Looking ahead, many spine surgeons are excited about how AR technology will develop in the coming years. Safdar Khan, MD, who completed the 3,000th Xvision case, said he anticipates changes to AR hardware and developments in digital applications.

"The headsets will become a lot sleeker," he said. "The pixelation and depth of perception of the actual image is going to be a lot clearer, and we're going to be able to visualize the cervical spine and the lumbar spine with a lot more accuracy. I would like to see a lot of visual technology which can backfill blood vessels and nerve roots. Depending on firewall restrictions and digital compliance, it'd be great to do live teaching modules with trainees and at other sites by logging in remotely into the headset as we expand the digital footprint of augmented reality for spine surgery."

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