March 8, 2024

Augmented reality headset enables real-time data visualization during surgery

Editor's Note

Successful use of augmented reality in a cardiac ablation procedure holds additional promise for training as well as more advanced OR applications, according to a February 29 report from Stanford Medicine.

During ablation, a treatment for heart arrythmias, surgeons typically refer to as many as eight screens depicting real-time data, including vital signs, X-ray and other imaging, and a real-time representation of the patient’s heart. With an Apple Vision Pro spatial computing headset, Stanford’s Alexander Perino, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist, says he found it easier to use hand gestures and eye movements to find the data he needed.  “I can independently move the virtual monitors to a more ergonomic position, then make it twice as big and easier to see,” Perino said.

Surgical teams testing the device in Stanford’s Palo Alto, California ORs still view data on conventional monitors as they evaluate the new method. However, the report notes that augmented reality headsets could help conserve valuable space in crowded ORs and eliminate the need for staff members to ensure surgeons can easily access needed information when required. "For now, we hope that this first demonstration will help establish the tool as something surgeons and proceduralists can use to reduce barriers to quickly and easily review and manipulate intraprocedural data,” Dr. Perino said.

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