An Ohio-based company called Surgical Theater has developed FDA-approved technology for brain-surgery based on Reality Computing technologies. The capture/compute/create process involves:
- Capturing images and scans of a patient’s brain using CT/MRI technology.
- Using that reality-captured data to develop an interactive 3D digital model of the brain with life-like tissue reaction.
- Creating a simulated operating room environment with that digital model to help medical staff practice the brain surgery.
In this virtual environment, which the company calls a Surgical Rehearsal Platform (SRP), the surgeon uses joysticks to control virtual surgical tools. The 3D platform can also be used in the operating room as a reference for the surgical team during the actual operation.
If you’re thinking that this sounds a bit like the medical version of a flight-simulator, you’re right. The company was founded by a neurosurgeon and two former Israeli Air Force R&D officers that developed flight simulation technology for the F-16. And just as flight simulators help pilots plan and rehearse critical military missions, SRP helps doctors plan and rehearse difficult surgical operations.