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First paediatric surgery performed using VisAR virtual reality headset

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VisAR is available in the US, Mexico, and Indonesia, with other countries expected to approve the technology in upcoming months.

The first paediatric deformity surgery using Novarad’s VisAR, an augmented reality surgical navigation system has been performed at Washington university School of Medicine in St Louis, US.

The VisAR system overlays 3D image datasets directly onto the patient’s body through an augmented reality headset, providing real-time, three-dimensional visualisation during surgery. The system offers instant image registration, allowing for dynamic adjustments with a minimal lag of 200 msec, enhancing surgical speed and confidence.

The technology is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared for spinal surgery and is undergoing review for cranial surgery in the US, with pending regulatory applications in other countries. VisAR gained Indonesian approval in May of this year.

In the announcement accompanying the CEO of Novara Wendell Gibby said: “It is unique among navigation systems in that the image and patient registration are nearly instantaneous. For example, in a typical navigation system, if you deflect the spine, there is a lag before the images are re-registered.

“With VisAR, this lag is only 200 msec using the patented image visible optical trackers. This live, dynamic adjustment of the images allows the surgeon to proceed faster and with more confidence.”

Celebrities have embraced the augmented reality (AR) surgery paradigm, with US-based medical technology company Medivis raising $20m to advance AR surgery in a Series A funding round in June. The funding round was led by Thrive Capital, Initialized Capital, and Mayo Clinic with additional investors such as Disney CEO Bob Iger, professional basketball player Kevin Durant, Dr Robert Spetzler, Hugo Barra and Coalition Operators.

According to a report on GlobalData’s Medical Intelligence Center, the AR sector will grow at a 36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $152bn by 2030, from $7bn in 2020.

Novarad is also engaging in the field of medical imaging, teaming up with Ikonopedia in February to offer a next-generation breast imaging platform to radiologists.

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