Augmented Reality in Spine Surgery

Augmedics xvision is the first Augmented Reality Guidance system to be used in surgery. It allows surgeons to visualize the 3D spinal anatomy of a patient during surgery as if they have “x-ray vision,” and to accurately navigate instruments and implants while looking directly at the patient, instead of a remote screen. The xvision Spine System uniquely builds and improves upon existing surgical navigation systems to meet the surgeons’ needs and provide technical confidence in the operating room. Dr. James Lynch, a board-certified and fellowship-trained neurological surgeon at Swift Spine Institute in Reno, was the first private practice surgeon in the United States to use the Augmedics xvision Spine System at a community hospital. Reno  neurosurgeons Dr. Edward Perry and Dr. Shane Abdunnur are also trained and experienced in the use of the xvision guidance system.

The FDA-cleared xvision Spine System aims to revolutionize surgery by giving surgeons better control and visualization, which can lead to more accurate and efficient surgeries. “The xvision is augmented reality for spine care and an important step forward in improving outcomes for spine surgery – it allows surgeons to view a 3D image of the CT scan on the retina without looking at a remote screen. It has all the advantages of a neuronavigation platform, yet it’s more cost-effective for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, especially in this current climate,” explains Dr. Lynch. “Other benefits of the xvision Spine System include accuracy and efficiency in placing minimally invasive surgical instrumentation and decreased radiation exposure for surgeons and OR staff from traditional fluoroscopy-based procedures.”

To address the unmet needs of surgeons, the xvision Spine System consists of a transparent near-eye-display headset and all elements of a traditional navigation system. It accurately determines the position of surgical tools in real-time, and a virtual trajectory is superimposed on the patient’s CT data. In a minimally invasive procedure, the 3D navigation data is projected onto the surgeon’s retina using the headset. It allows him or her to simultaneously look at the patient and see the navigation data without averting his or her eyes to a remote screen during the procedure.

One of the goals of the Augmedics xvision system is to increase accessibility of cutting-edge technologies for surgeons by providing the system at a fraction of the cost of traditional navigation and robotics. The system’s small footprint, economical cost and compatibility with current instrumentation is designed to allow easy integration into any surgical facility nationwide.

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