October 22, 2019

Augmented reality could give surgeons X-ray vision when they operate.

Imagine what a boon it would be to surgeons’ lifesaving abilities if they were granted X-ray vision while operating on patients. That’s exactly what a new startup called MediView XR, spinning out of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, wants to make possible — and it’s all thanks to the power of augmented reality (AR).

Using Microsoft HoloLens or similar AR goggles, MediView XR’s technology gives surgeons the ability to peer inside patients and see their internal anatomy under the skin. That includes organs, blood vessels, bones, and other structures such as cancerous lesions. This is all thanks to a system that “fuses” sensor readings from ultrasound devices with CT or MRI scans to provide an X-ray-like view that doesn’t involve repeated exposure to X-rays. The three-dimensional view means that surgeons can move around patients and continue to see their internal anatomy in the right position and from the correct angle.

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