Just as athletes and actors go all-out in scrimmages and dress rehearsals before an actual game or performance, surgeons can now fully immerse themselves in a surgical procedure before they set foot in the operating room.
With a virtual-reality-powered tool from PrecisionOS, physicians are able to thoroughly explore each patient’s unique anatomy to help plan out and prepare for an operation. The InVisionOS system will soon be available to surgeons in the U.S., thanks to a newly bestowed 510(k) clearance from the FDA.
“We focus on developing products that improve the confidence, competency and proficiency of surgeons, ultimately benefiting patient outcomes,” Danny Goel, M.D., CEO of PrecisionOS, said in a statement. “Our new InVisionOS software, which took four years to develop, allows surgeons to visualize patient specific needs and better plan for surgery.”
InVisionOS works with a hospital’s existing imaging picture archiving and communication system, or PACS, to produce 3D reconstructions from CT scans in the span of just a few seconds.
The 3D model is then sent to an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. While wearing the headset, surgeons can zoom in, manipulate and isolate specific sections of a patient’s individual CT scan findings to plot out their plan of attack for the surgery.
According to PrecisionOS, that’s a far cry from other 3D surgical planning systems, which create only a static image on a computer screen or 3D-printed model—rather than allowing surgeons to completely immerse themselves in and explore every nook and cranny of the model using VR.
With FDA clearance now secured, the Vancouver-based company said it will begin rolling out the software to U.S. surgeons in early 2022.
In addition to the surgical planning tool, PrecisionOS is also using VR to enhance traditional surgical training procedures. In contrast to current training programs, which guide physicians through narrowly scripted walk-throughs, PrecisionOS’ VR software places trainees inside a fully equipped OR, where they’re able to move around as normal and make their own decisions throughout simulated procedures, which take place on highly realistic anatomical models.
The system is currently focused primarily on orthopedic surgeries, with modules for shoulder, spine, hip and knee arthroplasty and knee arthroscopy.
And the VR software is used by more than just surgeons-in-training. According to PrecisionOS, several makers of orthopedic devices have also tapped the company’s technology to provide easier, faster and less expensive training with the devices for both their clinical customers and their sales teams.
Among these partners is NuVasive, maker of devices and procedures for minimally invasive spine surgery. It paired up with PrecisionOS in October to launch a worldwide VR training program for its X360 spinal surgery system.